Michael R. Anastasio
Laboratory Director and President, LANS
Corporate Headquarters: Los Alamos, New Mexico
Primary Business: National Security Science
2011 CEO in Action
In assessing the health of diversity at Los Alamos National Laboratory, we have several statistics that might tell a very positive story – namely the strong representation of Hispanics in our workforce. However, as the new director at the Lab several years ago, I found unsatisfactory answers to many diversity-related questions that I posed. Most notably, I was concerned with the paucity of women and minorities in management positions.
As the Laboratory’s director, I understand the unique leadership position I hold to set diversity-related priorities and influence organizational behavior. I knew the progress in diversity required me to take visible, demonstrable actions and establish clear expectations for my senior managers. And I embraced this challenge with gusto. With the support of our Equal Opportunity Office, I established and agreed to chair the Lab’s executive diversity committee, which set clear goals and strategies and championed diversity initiatives to achieve measurable results.
We shaped diversity initiatives using proactive and consistent processes to not only increase underrepresented populations, but also to drive better performance, products, and employee satisfaction. To set us on a path to greater diversity among management ranks, we introduced specific initiatives including the establishment of a new manager “on-ramp” to provide a fair and unbiased screening process to assess management potential; a protégé/ mentor program to provide a diverse and inclusive group of protégés with high-level contacts and the skills required for success; and a management hiring process review board to ensure hiring processes are not only fair and consistent but also utilized to maximize applicant pools in terms of both quality and diversity.
Outside of workforce initiatives, I am also responsive to the Laboratory’s position as one of the largest employers in Northern New Mexico. I support the bolstering of regional impacts through strong diversity supplier and economic development programs as well as community giving campaigns and educational outreach initiatives that support underprivileged populations, which in New Mexico too often include Hispanics and Native American Pueblo peoples.
Overall, I believe that sustaining a strong diversity and inclusion program is helping our Laboratory reach and exceed its goals by bringing together the best and brightest of ideas and perspectives to enhance creativity, problem-solving, and innovation—all of which are imperative to resolving the nation’s most critical security issues, and all of which are hallmarks of Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Education: BA in Physics, with honors, from Johns Hopkins University; MA and PhD in Theoretical Nuclear Physics from State University of New York, Stony Brook
First Job: Paper route in DC suburbs; clerk typist for Dept. of Health, Safety and Welfare
What I’m Reading: The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson
My Philosophy: Appreciate and value other’s perspectives.
Best Advice: Appreciate and value other’s perspectives.
Family: Married to wife, Ann; two daughters, Alison and Alexandra
Interests: Music and sports
Favorite Charities: Numerous