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Abrahamson named CIO at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Current chief information officer Jerry Johnson takes new assignment with DOE

News Release

January 02, 2013 Share This!

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RICHLAND, Wash. — Brian Abrahamson, an information technology veteran with extensive experience in both the public and private energy sectors, has been named chief information officer for the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

The CIO reports to the laboratory director and directs the deployment, use, management and protection of information technology to increase PNNL's research productivity and operational effectiveness. Abrahamson is replacing Jerry Johnson, who will take on a new role with DOE.

Abrahamson joined PNNL in 2011 and has served as chief enterprise architect at PNNL, responsible for leading a laboratory-wide improvement agenda that enhanced PNNL's information technology systems. Prior to joining PNNL, Abrahamson acted as CIO and chief architect for San Francisco-based Pacific Gas and Electric Company, one of the nation's largest investor-owned utilities. He also spent 10 years with the management consulting organization Accenture and has several years' experience working in industry.

Johnson, who joined PNNL in 1978 and has been CIO since 2004, will take on the role of senior policy and technical advisor to the Office of the Chief Information Officer at DOE. DOE requested the move as the agency works to refine its approach to cyber security and transform its information technology infrastructure and services. Johnson will remain on staff at  PNNL and split his time between Richland and Washington, D.C.

Commenting on Johnson's move, PNNL Director Mike Kluse said, "This is a win for DOE, PNNL and all of the national laboratories. DOE is getting a senior advisor with recent, relevant experience in cyber security, and he will help provide solutions that will guide DOE's future information technology environment." 

Under Johnson's leadership, PNNL was recognized as a CIO 100 award winner in 2008 and 2009, and was named to the InformationWeek 500 list — an annual ranking of the most innovative companies employing information technology in their businesses — five consecutive years. Johnson has been twice named to the InformationWeek Government CIO 50 list, a compilation of top CIOs in federal, state and local government.

"In the modern workplace, information technology has the potential to transform the way we work, both internally and with our partners.  The perspective Brian brings from working with industry leading companies makes him well suited to take the baton from Jerry and capitalize on the laboratory's IT investment so we can effectively tackle national challenges in energy, national security, environment and science," said  Kluse. "He has demonstrated outstanding leadership and vision, has an ability to build strong partnerships and has a clear focus of what's necessary to enable research."

Abrahamson has served in a leadership capacity on several committees in the utilities industry, including the Edison Electric Institute's Technology Advisory Committee.  He previously served on the advisory board for Habitat for Humanity, and looks forward to getting involved locally in civic and economic development efforts in southeast Washington state.  He earned  a bachelor's degree in computer science from Gonzaga University in Spokane.

Tags: Computational Science, National Security, Operations, Supercomputer, Cybersecurity, Staff Appointments

PNNL LogoPacific Northwest National Laboratory draws on signature capabilities in chemistry, earth sciences, and data analytics to advance scientific discovery and create solutions to the nation's toughest challenges in energy resiliency and national security. Founded in 1965, PNNL is operated by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. 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 PNNL's News Center. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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