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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Advisors and Directors

Board of Directors

AHF President Cindy Kelly

Cynthia C. Kelly is the founder and President of the Atomic Heritage Foundation. Before creating the Foundation, she served over twenty years as a senior executive with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency, receiving the Distinguished Career Service Award for her time at both agencies. She graduated with a bachelor degree in history from Wellesley College, earned a master’s degree from Yale University, and taught history before her career with the Federal government. 

Denise Kiernan has worked as a journalist and producer. She is best known for The Girls of Atomic City, which came out in March 2013 and immediately shot to the top of the New York Times bestsellers list – and stayed there. The Girls of Atomic City tells the story of the women who worked at Oak Ridge on the Manhattan Project. She has appeared on the Daily Show and NPR to talk about her book and the women who worked on the Manhattan Project. 

Robert S. Norris is the author of the definitive biography of General Groves, Racing for the Bomb: General Leslie R. Groves, the Manhattan Project’s Indispensable ManHe is a senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, DC, and previously was a senior research associate for the National Resources Defense Council. He is an expert on the nuclear weapons programs of the United States, the Soviet Union and Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China, as well as India, Pakistan, and Israel. He is the co-author of Making the Russian Bomb: From Stalin to Yeltsin and has written many articles on nuclear history. He has a PhD in Political Science from New York University.

Richard Rhodes is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic BombThe Twilight of the BombsDark Sun as well as more than twenty other books. He has written extensively about nuclear issues and lectured widely in the United States and abroad. He has also served many posts, including as an Advisor for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (1990-Present), Fellow for the Program on Peace and International Cooperation at MacArthur Foundation (1990-1991), Visiting Scholar at the History of Science Department at Harvard University (1989-1990), Visiting Fellow for the Defense and Arms Control Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1988-1989), among others. He graduated cum laude with a degree in history from Yale University. 

D. Ray Smith

D. Ray Smith is the City of Oak Ridge’s official historian. A Vietnam veteran, Smith worked at the Y-12 National Security Complex for 48 years and served as the Y-12 historian. Smith is also a member of the Tennessee Historical Commission and is the vice president of the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association. Smith has received the U.S. Department of Energy Gold Medal Award in recognition of his role in helping to create the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. 

John D. Wagoner served as Manager of the Department of Energy’s Richland Operations Office (Hanford) for nearly ten years, and is currently Vice President for Nuclear Programs, Archimedes Technology Group in San Diego. Trained as a nuclear engineer, John Wagoner served in the Naval Reactors Division of the US Navy before joining the Atomic Energy Commission and then the Department of Energy. He has a bachelor’s degree in industrial economics from Purdue University.

Advisory Committee

The Atomic Heritage Foundation benefits from the advice of our dedicated advisory committee and veteran advisers. 

Bruce Babbitt, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior (1993-2001).

Jeff Bingaman, former Senator from New Mexico.

Andrew Brown, physician and author of biographies on James Chadwick and Joseph Rotblat.

Jennet Conant, author of Tuxedo Park109 East Palace, and other books.

Michele Gerber, consultant and author of On the Home Front.

Brent Glass, former director of the the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History 

Gregg Herken, professor of history at UC Merced and author of Brotherhood of the Bomb.

William Lanouette, retired GAO executive and author, Genius in the Shadows: A Biography of Leo Szilard.

Martin Mandelberg, engineer and defense expert and author of biography of Richard Hamming.

Arthur Molella, former director, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian Institution.

A. R. Oppenheimer, nuclear weapons expert and consultant on issues related to weapons of mass destruction.

Clay Perkins, physicist, philanthropist, and collector of military and historic artifacts.

Cameron Reed, professor of physics and author of The History and Science of the Manhattan Project and The Physics of the Manhattan Project.

James L. Smith, retired Los Alamos National Laboratory physicist.

Michael L. Telson, vice president for Energy and Electromagnetic Systems in Washington, DC for the General Atomics Corporation of San Diego, CA. 

Arnold Thackray, president emeritus of the Chemical Heritage Foundation.

Kinue Tokudome, founder and director of the US-Japan Dialogue on POWs, and writer.

Troy E. Wade, former director of the Nevada Test Site and chairman of the National Atomic Testing Museum.

David Wargowski, retired engineering manager/scientist and artist of atomic imagery.

Alex Wellerstein, historian of science and assistant professor, Stevens Institute of Technology.

Manhattan Project Veteran Advisors

Benjamin Bederson, Los Alamos, SED. Professor of physics emeritus at New York University.

Virginia Coleman, Oak Ridge. Worked as a chemist at the Y-12 Plant for many years.

Fay Cunningham, MIT. Former director of chemical production at the Upjohn Company.

James Forde, lab assistant, New York City. Worked for CBS and as Director, Health Services in San Diego.

Dieter Gruen, Oak Ridge. Senior Scientist in Materials Science at Argonne National Laboratory.

Lawrence O’Rourke, Manhattan and Oak Ridge, SED. Former president of Kawecki Berylco Industries.

James Schoke, Metallurgical Lab, SED. Pioneer in field of nucleonics, co-founded Nuclear Instrument and Chemical Corporation (1946) and others.