Deputy Director for Science

David J. Dean

David J. Dean

David J. Dean is the Deputy Director for Science at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. In this position, he is responsible for the overall development, strategic planning and oversight of Jefferson Lab’s scientific enterprise, ensuring alignment with the Jefferson Lab vision and with DOE mission priorities. He provides leadership for strategic planning, mission diversification and user community engagement, and he serves as the principal scientific contact with funding agencies, university partners and the scientific community.

David came to the lab in January 2022 from Oak Ridge National Lab, where he had served as its associate laboratory director for the Physical Science Directorate since 2011. As ALD, he led four research divisions: Materials Science and Technology, Chemical Sciences, Physics, and the Center for Nanophase Materials Science.

He received his bachelor’s degree in physics from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He then went on to obtain his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University.

David first worked at ORNL while he was a graduate student at Vanderbilt. After earning his Ph.D. there in 1991, he took a postdoctoral fellowship at CalTech, then returned to ORNL as a Wigner Fellow in the Physics Division in 1995, where he performed world-leading research on theoretical physics and nuclear astrophysics. After 12 years as a researcher, David served from 2007 to 2009 as ORNL's director of Institutional Planning. In that role, he helped to prepare ORNL's first laboratory plan for the Office of Science and gained valuable exposure to research across the lab.

David then served two years as senior advisor to the Under Secretary for Science at DOE. Among many contributions during his time in Washington, D.C., he wrote the science section of DOE's strategic plan and developed the fiscal year 2012 strategic initiative in exascale computing, which is now one of DOE' s top priorities.

He returned to ORNL in 2011 as director of the Physics Division, where he led a transition in the division's focus from a largely facility-based research program toward world-leading research in several areas of nuclear physics. He also served as manager of the Isotopes Program and helped to oversee exceptional growth in the ORNL’s isotope portfolio.

David J. Dean is an author on more than 125 research papers in his extensive publications portfolio. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, and the Institute of Physics, among other honors.