Deputy Administrator for U.S. Defense Programs visits SC State

Monday, November 10, 2008

Robert SmolenOrangeburg, S.C. - Robert Smolen, National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) deputy administrator for U.S. defense programs recently visited the James E. Clyburn University Transportation Center (JECUTC) at SC State.

Smolen directs the Stockpile Stewardship Program (SSP), which is responsible for maintaining the safety, security, and reliability of the Nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile.

Smolen’s visit was in conjunction with the James E. Clyburn University Transportation Center’s Environmental Policy Institute (EPI), which conducts research for the National Nuclear Security Administration on the safe and secure transportation of nuclear sources. On Sept. 27, 2008, the EPI’s proposal was approved by the NNSA and provided $2 million in funding to continue research, outreach and training, and curriculum development for the Nuclear Engineering program at SC State.

During his visit, Smolen toured engineering facilities, ROTC units and 1890 departments. He also held group sessions with SC State nuclear engineering students and ROTC cadets, stimulating their involvement with engineering and technology services.

“The National Nuclear Security Administration has been very active in partnerships with SC State for some time. We are interested in providing practical opportunities for SC State graduates by placing them in environmental and National security programs, said Smolen.”

Dr. Smolen and Dr. BrownSmolen also met with University officials to include President George E. Cooper, Dr. Leonard McIntyre, interim vice president for Research and Curriculum Development, Mr. Elbert Malon, assistant vice president for Sponsored Programs, Dr. Reinhart Brown, interim executive director of the JECUTC, Dr. Kenneth Lewis, dean of the College of Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Technology, Col. Heyward Stackhouse and Capt. Norman Garvin.

“We look forward to creating opportunities with the National Nuclear Security Administration and deputy administrator Smolen as we further our research at SC State and the James E. Clyburn Transportation Center,” said Dr. Reinhart Brown, interim executive director for the JECUTC.

Prior to his retirement in Aug. 2007, Smolen was commander of the Air Force District of Washington (AFDW), the Air Force component to the Joint Forces headquarters-National Capital Region, organizing, training and equipping combat forces for the aerospace expeditionary forces, homeland operations, civil support, national special security events and ceremonial events.

His career includes operational experience in both ground and airborne nuclear missile command and control. He served on the staff of the Secretary of Defense and was the Director of Manpower and Personnel on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He twice served in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force in the Office of Legislative Liaison on Capitol Hill-first in the House of Representatives and later in the Chief of the Senate office. While assigned to Air Force Headquarters in the Pentagon, he was both the Deputy and later the Director of the Air Force Office of Nuclear Counterproliferation.

Smolen received his bachelor of arts degree in communications from Allegheny College in Meadville, PA. He earned two advanced degrees, the first in public administration from the University of Oklahoma and a second in international relations from Auburn University. Additionally, he was a fellow in the Seminar XXI Program, Foreign Policy and the National Interest, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the National and International Security Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

For more information on Smolen’s visit to SC State, contact Dr. Reinhart Brown at (803) 536-4677.