The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) is pleased to announce that as of today, 1 September 2014, Mr. William D. Magwood, IV has taken up his duties as the new NEA Director‑General. He succeeds Mr. Luis E. Echávarri who had served as Director‑General since 1997.
Mr. Magwood brings to the NEA extensive experience in both the regulatory and developmental aspects of nuclear energy, including at the international level. Since 2010, he had been serving as one of the five Commissioners appointed by the US President and confirmed by the US Senate to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). While a commissioner, he advocated the importance of nuclear regulatory independence and the necessity of maintaining strong, credible and technically sound nuclear regulation in the United States and all countries that use nuclear power.
Commenting on how this experience would support his work at the NEA, Mr. Magwood indicated that “After serving at the NRC for four and a half years, I have gained a deeper understanding of the vital importance of strong nuclear safety regulatory infrastructures and safety cultures in member countries, and my expectation is to widely share, discuss and advance all aspects of this experience in the international arena.”
Prior to his appointment at the NRC, from 2005 to 2010 he provided independent strategic and policy advice to US and international clients on energy, environmental and technology policy issues. During this time, he also sat on various advisory groups and provided technical and policy advice to members of the US Congress on nuclear research, education and climate change policy.
From 1998 to 2005, Mr. Magwood was Director of Nuclear Energy at the US Department of Energy (DOE). During his tenure, he launched several important initiatives including the US Nuclear Power 2010 programme and the Generation IV International Forum (GIF). He was also actively involved in the work of the NEA, serving as a Steering Committee bureau member from 1999 to 2003, and as Chair in 2004 and early 2005.
Regarding international development initiatives, Mr. Magwood emphasised that “I have been closely following the great interest shown by many countries in developing technology for the long-term future. Today, as when I was at the DOE, I believe that the development of advanced technology and multilateral co-operation needs to be part of the international agenda, and I look forward to working with the NEA member and partner countries at that level.”
Prior to his experience at the DOE, Mr. Magwood managed electric utility research and nuclear policy programmes at the Edison Electric Institute in Washington, DC, and was earlier a scientist at Westinghouse Electric Corporation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Magwood, a US national, holds Bachelor’s degrees in Physics and English from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Pittsburgh.
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NEA membership consists of 31 countries. The mission of the NEA is to assist its member countries in maintaining and further developing, through international co-operation, the scientific, technological and legal bases required for a safe, environmentally sound and economical use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. It strives to provide authoritative assessments and to forge common understandings on key issues as input to government decisions on nuclear energy policy and to broader OECD analyses in areas such as energy and the sustainable development of low‑carbon economies.