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Trump’s pick for NNSA No. 2 confirmed by U.S. Senate

May 27, 2019

The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed William Bookless, a longtime senior physicist, as the National Nuclear Security Administration’s second in command.

Bookless, a 2010 Nuclear Posture Review contributor, will now become the principal deputy administrator, a step below chief Lisa Gordon-Hagerty.

Bookless was first nominated by President Donald Trump about nine months ago. The president nominated him again in January as the new Congress – the 116th – began.

When Bookless will be sworn in is not immediately clear.

The NNSA is a semiautonomous U.S. Department of Energy agency in charge of the nation’s nuclear outfit as well as related nonproliferation. The agency operates at the Savannah River Site.

Bookless spoke with the Aiken Standard in February during the annual Nuclear Deterrence Summit outside of Washington D.C.

At the time, Bookless – a former Brookhaven National Laboratory assistant policy and planning director – said he was “excited” by the prospect of serving as the NNSA’s No. 2.

“I want to get there and help,” Bookless said, later adding: “I’m committed to the mission.”

The Senate Armed Services Committee – at the time including U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, a pair of South Carolina Republicans – held a nomination hearing for Bookless late last year.

Bookless in February described a meeting with Graham’s staff as “cordial.”

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