Board Members

Jessie Hill Roberson
Ms. Jessie Hill Roberson
Board Member

Ms. Jessie Hill Roberson has more than 30 years of experience in the nuclear field in the public and private sectors.  She has managed field operations at several Department of Energy Nuclear Plants and has served as Assistant Secretary of Energy for the Environmental Management Program in Washington, DC, where she had leadership responsibilities including operations, safety, financial, and policy matters across the Department of Energy’s Defense Nuclear Complex.  She has also served in management roles at several commercial nuclear facilities with responsibilities including plant engineering, regulations/licensing and compliance, nuclear operations, public interface, and emergency management.  Ms. Roberson was confirmed by the Senate on July 2, 2020, for a term expiring on October 18, 2023.

Thomas A. Summers
Mr. Thomas A. Summers
Vice Chairman

Thomas A. Summers of Rochester, Pennsylvania was designated Vice Chair of the Board on August 17, 2020.  He served as Acting Chair from September 13, 2020 to January 20, 2021.  Mr. Summers was twice confirmed by the Senate on July 2, 2020, for service through October 18, 2025.  Mr. Summers previously served as Senior Advisor to the Deputy Administrator and as the Deputy for Research, Development, Test, & Evaluation in the Office of Defense Programs at the National Nuclear Security Administration in the Department of Energy.  He is a retired U.S. Air Force colonel with over three decades of active duty in a variety of command, teaching, military staff, and scientific positions.

Mr. Summers earned a B.S. from Saint Vincent College, PA, in Physics and Mathematics and four M.S. degrees: Applied Physics from the Air Force Institute of Technology, OH; Administration from Central Michigan University, MI; Military Operational Art and Science from Air Command and Staff College, AL; and National Security Strategy from the National War College, DC.

Joyce L. Connery
Ms. Joyce L. Connery
Chair

Ms. Joyce L. Connery, a native of Massachusetts, was designated as Chair of the Board by President Biden on January 20, 2021.  She was initially appointed to the Board by former President Obama in 2015, where she served as the Board’s Chair from her appointment in August 2015 until January 2017.  She was confirmed again by the Senate to be a Member of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board on July 2, 2020, for a term expiring October 18, 2024.  Ms. Connery has had an extensive career in the fields of nuclear security, safety, nonproliferation, and energy policy.  Ms. Connery began her career at the national laboratories, first serving in Kazakhstan working on the shutdown of the BN-350 fast breeder reactor and then returning to Washington, DC, to work in the Office of International Safety in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration.  She has served in several capacities at DOE, including as the senior policy advisor to the Deputy Secretary of Energy.  She also served two tours in the National Security Council.  From February 2008 through May 2010, she worked in the area of nonproliferation and nuclear security, and from January 2012 through July 2015, she served as Director for Nuclear Energy Policy within the Office of International Economics.  Ms. Connery received a B.A. from Tufts University and an M.A.L.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.