Dona Crawford Retires from LLNL

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Dona Crawford

Dona Crawford

Dona Crawford, Associate Director for Computation at NNSA’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), announced her retirement last week after 15 years of leading Livermore’s Computation Directorate.

Dona has successfully led a multidisciplinary 1000-person team that develops and deploys world-class supercomputers, computational science, and information technology expertise that enable the Laboratory’s national security programs,” LLNL Director Bill Goldstein said. “Dona’s leadership in high performance computing has been instrumental in bringing a series of world-class machines to the Laboratory.”

Crawford was one of the original leaders in the 1990s of the Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative (ASCI), a national initiative to support the shift from testing to simulation for verifying nuclear weapons and supporting the stockpile. This initiative led to the nation’s success in high performance computing (HPC). According to the TOP500 list released in November, the U.S. continues to lead the way in HPC systems with 199 of the 500 systems (233 in June 2015).

Often the only woman in the room throughout her career, Crawford nonetheless achieved enormous success. She has testified before Congress about the critical need to develop next-generation supercomputers, and is involved in development and outreach for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) on both professional and community fronts.

Crawford has served as an advisor to the National Research Council and the National Science Foundation, as co-chair of the CRDF Global Board and of the Council on Competitiveness High Performance Computing Advisory Committee, and as a member of IBM’s Deep Computing Institute’s External Advisory Board, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). Her STEM outreach efforts include support for underrepresented groups and advocating involvement for women and girls.

Crawford has been prolifically recognized for her accomplishments throughout her career. She was inducted into the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame in 2005, received the Computerworld Honors Award in 2006, was featured as one of insideHPC’sRock Stars of HPC” in November 2010, received Alumni Career Achievement Award from University of Redlands California, and was the first woman named among HPCWire’s People to Watch—and the only woman to have made the list twice, in 2002 and 2013.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to lead this world-class organization for nearly 15 years,” Crawford said. “I have the utmost confidence I am leaving an organization and people I care deeply about in the hands of experienced, extremely capable leaders who will continue tomove Comp forward as a vital element of the Laboratory.”


In all, Crawford’s career at DOE and NNSA spanned 40 years, including 25 years at Sandia National Laboratories.

Strong leaders are important, but it has always been the people who are the magic within computation,” Crawford said. “I look forward to watching from the sidelines as you continue to push the frontiers of what is possible in support of lab missions.”

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