Virtual Town Hall Discusses Jefferson Lab and Its Role in Hampton Roads

  • Virtual Town Hall

Chris Fall, director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science,
led a discussion on the future of Virginia’s national lab and
its surrounding communities

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility has a bright future, and Chris Fall especially wants the laboratory’s local communities to be aware of all the national lab has to offer.

Fall, director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, held a virtual town hall with lab and community leaders earlier this week to start an ongoing dialogue on the future of Jefferson Lab and how the community can benefit from and support the national laboratory’s ongoing science and technology programs.

More than 125 community leaders participated in the meeting, including Congressman Bobby Scott, Mayor McKinley Price, and representatives from Virginia’s federal and state government.

“Based on the response we had... It’s safe to say that Virginia is for lovers of science and technology,” said Fall in his opening remarks.

The discussion covered a diverse range of subjects. Chris Fall and Stuart Henderson, director of Jefferson Lab addressed a selection of questions from those submitted by the participants, from the lab’s future role in building and operating the electron-ion collider and how the public can best leverage its science, technology, and innovation for the community, to what the DOE’s Office of Science will look like in 20 years.

Fall said that he sees this dialogue as the first of many with Jefferson Lab, as the Office of Science works with the areas that host national labs to increase engagement toward building a strong alliance that benefits the labs and their local communities. He expressed his excitement about the future of Jefferson Lab, as well as his desire to take advantage of unique capabilities that exist at the lab to grow it beyond its current single-purpose mission, and especially in aligning the laboratory with the strengths that Hampton Roads and Virginia offer.

“I’m very appreciative of Dr. Fall’s enthusiasm in suggesting this town hall, based on his interest in reaching out to the region and communities that host each of the national labs and recognizing the critical part that these communities play in the success of the labs,” said Henderson.

A Virginia native who grew up in Tidewater as part of a military family, Fall is a neuroscientist by training. He has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, both from the University of Virginia, and an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. Since June 2019, Fall has been the director of the Office of Science, leading the nation’s largest basic science organization, with responsibility for 10 national labs.

The Town Hall is now available for viewing here:

Contact: Deborah Dowd, Jefferson Lab Communications Office,


Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, manages and operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, or Jefferson Lab, for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. JSA is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. (SURA).

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit