Executive Director of External Affairs
Executive Director of External Affairs


Paula Linnen is Executive Director of External Affairs at PNNL. The External Affairs team helps to connect the transformative research and leadership at PNNL to the outside world. Whether serving as a conduit to help identify trusted expertise to inform decisions; or facilitating community volunteerism and leadership; or helping to impact the quality of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education, the External Affairs team helps make the right PNNL connections.

She and her team are driven by the belief that extraordinary science and technology, coupled with a passion for excellence in community engagement, can make our future workforce stronger; the communities in which we live and work economically vibrant; and the world more safe, secure, and prosperous. The External Affairs team focuses on these outcomes every day.

Paula joined PNNL in 1991 and has held several senior leadership roles. She has served as a member of the Laboratory's Leadership Team for the past two decades and is currently leading federal and state legislative affairs, regional and community engagement, and STEM Education strategy development and execution.

Paula serves as a committee member on the Board of Overseers for the Stanford SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory; is a member of the Washington State STEM Education Foundation board of directors; is a member of the board and Executive Committee of the Association of Washington Business; and is a member of the board of Heritage University and serves as Chair of the Academic Committee.

A native of St. Louis and a University of Missouri alum, Paula has lived and worked in Washington state for the past 26 years.