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Council of Graduate Schools

Ronald Townsend

Executive Vice President, Global Laboratory Operations, Battelle Memorial Institute

Ronald Townsend currently leads Battelle's Global Laboratory Operations business, where he oversees the management or co-management of eight laboratories representing over $5B in annual research and development. These include six national laboratories for the U.S. Department of Energy — Brookhaven National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory — a laboratory for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Nuclear Laboratory in the United Kingdom.

From 1997 to January 2009, Townsend served as the President of Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), a national consortium of doctoral-granting colleges and universities. A private, not for profit corporation, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, where Townsend served as Director for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Before joining ORAU, Townsend served as Commandant of the Air Force Institute of Technology located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where he was responsible for the operation of two graduate schools in aerospace technology and acquisition management, a multimillion-dollar graduate engineering research program, two continuing education schools, and continuing education programs.

He also was selected as a Senior Research Fellow at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., where he focused on the U.S. Department of Defense and Congress in the federal budgeting process.

Townsend earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics from Kansas State University and completed his doctoral degree in meteorology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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