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


As the Associate Laboratory Director of the National Security Directorate at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Deborah Gracio is responsible for overseeing 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 this role in February 2020, Deborah was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of PNNL’s National Security Directorate. She led the capability development, mission execution, and project management of the directorate, responsible for 1,300 staff members personnel and an annual research budget of $500 million.  In her 30 years at PNNL, Deborah has led the strategy, research, development, and management of multiple cross-disciplinary, multi-laboratory programs focused in the basic sciences and national security sectors. Her work included research and development of integrated computational environments for biodefense, computational biology, computational chemistry, and atmospheric modeling.

In previous roles, Deborah served as the Director for the National Security Program Development Office, responsible for oversight of a $600-million portfolio, 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 the focus area leader 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.

Deborah received a R&D 100 Award and a Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for the Molecular Sciences Software Suite, a software product deployed worldwide. She was recognized by DOE with a Certificate of Accomplishment for the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program and the DOE Outstanding Woman in Engineering award. Deborah is an executive member of the Brookhaven Science Associates Board of Directors at Brookhaven National Laboratory and a Senior Member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers. She has served on the IEEE Information Systems Strategy Council and the NIST Smart Grid Advisory Board. She is on the executive advisory board for the College of Engineering and Architecture and the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Washington State University. She was on the board of directors and served a three-year term as president of the Tri-County Partners chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

Deborah received her M.S. and B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Washington State University.