Perhaps it’s no surprise that Thom Mason, who was director at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for 10 years, is now the director at Los Alamos. “I grew up in a science family,” he explains. “My dad worked at a Canadian national lab, so it was sort of the family business, and it never really occurred to me to do anything else.”
He pauses, reconsidering. “I did think about doing an English degree,” he says. “And I decided that if I did physics, I could still read books. But if I took English, I probably couldn’t have physics as a hobby.” Fast-forward nearly four decades, and reading is still one of Mason’s hobbies, alongside hacking consumer electronics, cycling, skiing, and exploring his new hometown of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
But time for such activities is in short supply these days, as nearly all of Mason’s energy is focused on his new job at Los Alamos. “There is something healthy about really looking at things and trying to understand what’s working and what’s not working,” he says of his new role with Triad National Security, which began managing the Lab on November 1, 2018. “This is an opportunity to take a fresh look at things, make some changes that need to be made, and emerge as a stronger organization as a result.”
Read more at Los Alamos National Laboratory.