The National Laboratory Directors' Council

[revised 2/23/17]


The National Laboratory Directors’ Council (NLDC) advances the effectiveness of the Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratory Complex in meeting the collective National missions and provides an interface to DOE organizations on issues and concerns of common interest, both strategic and operational. The Council also functions as a forum for information exchange, consensus building, and coordination of matters that affect the NLDC members. The primary NLDC relationship with the DOE shall be through the Secretary of Energy.


The Council comprises the Laboratory Directors for each of the seventeen DOE’s National Laboratories.

Executive Committee – Membership and Responsibilities

An Executive Committee (EC) shall be comprised of one representative from each of the four DOE Mission areas: Science (SC), Energy (E), Nuclear Security (NS), and Environment (EM) (see Section 8 for list of Labs and mission areas represented). The EC members will be elected by plurality by the full membership to serve two-year terms. The election will be managed by a third-party, and will use electronic ballots. The NLDC Liaison will administer the elections through the third party tool. Energy and Environment will be staggered with Science and Nuclear Security so that each year, two representatives shall be elected to the Committee. Nominations for incoming EC members shall be held each November. Each year, one of the incoming EC members shall be chosen by the EC to serve one year as Vice Chair and one year as Chair. If the EC cannot agree upon a Vice Chair, the full NLDC membership shall elect the Vice Chair.

If members leave the EC role, an open election will be held to fill the rest of the term of the departing member. If the departing member is either Chair or Vice Chair, the EC shall choose a replacement for the remainder of the term. If the EC cannot agree upon a replacement, the full NLDC membership shall elect the replacement.

The EC will set the date, location and agenda for all NLDC meetings, including EC meetings with the Secretary of Energy.

The EC shall serve as the NLDC representatives for the DOE Laboratory Policy Council.


The NLDC shall undertake such studies and activities as the membership proposes and agrees. The NLDC shall have both standing and ad hoc working groups; the latter may be formed to examine specific matters of importance to the NLDC. The NLDC and its Working Groups will coordinate and designate detailed work assignments with counterparts in the DOE as needed. Creation and sunsetting of Working Groups is by voting of the NLDC membership. The following standing working groups currently exist:

  1. Chief Research Officers - to advise on scientific and cross-cutting programmatic issues, including integration between the laboratory system and other academia, industry, and other government agencies.

  2. Chief Operations Officers – to advise on management and operations issues.

  3. Chief Information Officers – to advise on computing, information processing, and cyber security issues.

  4. Chief Financial Officers – to advise on financial matters, budgets and long-term financial risks.

  5. General Counsels – to advise on legal issues.

  6. Chief Communications Officers – to advise on public relations and communications issues.

  7. Human Research Directors – to advise on human resource concerns, salary and benefits, and other personnel issues.

  8. Environmental Safety and Health Officers – to advise on environmental and safety issues and requirements.

  9. Federal Relations –

  10. Technology Transfer – to advise on department-wide issues and/or opportunities for improvements in leveraging the physical and intellectual assets of the laboratories through more effective and efficient transition of technologies from the laboratory into commercial practice.


The Executive Committee shall schedule meetings of the NLDC. Meetings may be conducted in person, by telephone, or by videoconference. They shall be scheduled at times and places to be most effective in conducting the business of the Council, but in no case shall there be fewer than two meetings per calendar year. Meetings will be announced via electronic mail. Members are permitted, when necessary, to bring subject matter experts to assist them with agenda items.

Each NLDC member or representative will be responsible for the costs of meeting attendance.


Decisions are normally by consensus, but require a quorum of members be present. Two thirds (2/3s) of the members, represented in person or by proxy, shall constitute a quorum at a meeting of the members.

Where voting is appropriate, each member will have one vote. Ballots may be cast by the members or by proxy. Unless otherwise noted in this charter, voting decisions are by simple majority of the votes cast. Voting for EC members is explained above in section 3.


This Charter will remain in effect until rescinded. It may be amended by a two-thirds vote of NLDC members. Proposed changes shall be transmitted at least 10 business days prior to a vote.

Seventeen National Labs and Mission Areas

  • Ames National Laboratory

  • Argonne National Laboratory

  • Brookhaven National Laboratory

  • Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

    • Idaho National Laboratory

  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

  • Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • National Energy Technology Laboratory

  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory

  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory

  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

  • Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

  • Sandia National Laboratory

  • Savannah River National Laboratory

  • SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

  • Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility