Associate Laboratory Director, National Security Directorate
Associate Laboratory Director, National Security Directorate


As Associate Laboratory Director of the National Security Directorate (NSD) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Deborah (Deb) Gracio ;oversees the portfolio of national security programs and partnerships at PNNL. Under her leadership, PNNL delivers scientific insights, tools, and methods to deploy impactful science and technology to sponsors in the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, the Intelligence Community, and the National Nuclear Security Administration.

Prior to assuming the ALD role, Deb served as NSD’s Chief Operating Officer, driving capability development, mission execution, and project management of the directorate. In her 30 + years at PNNL, Deb has led the strategy, research, development, and management of multiple cross -disciplinary, multi-laboratory programs focused on the basic sciences and national security sectors. Her work included research and development of integrated computational technologies for biodefense, computational biology, computational chemistry, and atmospheric modeling.

In previous roles, Deb served as the Director for the National Security Program Development Office, developing business strategies, and leading a team of staff to diversify and expand PNNL’s national security research and development activities. She was also Director for the Computational and Statistical Analytics Division, Director of the Data-Intensive Computing research initiative, and led the focus area for developing a computational and bioinformatics portfolio. She also was the project lead for the Extensible Computational Chemistry Environment (Ecce), a key capability in the Molecular Sciences Software Suite—DOE’s flagship computational chemistry suite which has been deployed worldwide, and for which she and her team received an R&D 100 Award and a Federal Laboratory Consortium Award.

Deb was recognized by DOE with a Certificate of Accomplishment for the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM) and the DOE Outstanding Woman in Engineering award. She is an executive member of the Brookhaven Science Associates Board of Directors at Brookhaven National Laboratory, a Senior Member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has served on the IEEE Information Systems strategy Council and the NIST Smart Grid Advisory Board. Deb is a member of the executive advisory board for the Georgia Tech Research Institute and the College of Engineering at Washington State University. Deb received her M.S. and B.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Washington State University.