Threat agency boss rejoins Los Alamos

Defense Threat Reduction Agency Web site

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) announced earlier this month that its director, Stephen Younger, will resign from the agency in February to return to his previous place of work.

Younger will return to the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico as a senior fellow.

Younger became director of DTRA, located at Fort Belvoir, Va., on Sept. 1, 2001. Prior to DTRA, Younger was the senior associate laboratory director for national security at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

DTRA's mission is to ensure the safety of the country from weapons of mass destruction -- specifically nuclear, chemical and biological.

A replacement for Younger has not been named.

Younger has "made significant contributions to national security" and the Defense Department, said Dale Klein, assistant to the Secretary of Defense for nuclear, chemical and biological defense programs, in a statement. "Under his leadership, DTRA has become the 'go to' agency for issues related to weapons of mass destruction."

In a letter to DTRA employees, Younger wrote, "It has been my distinct honor and privilege to lead a truly remarkable organization, one that has risen to challenges and truly embraced the call to transformation."

Michael Wynne, acting under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, said Younger's role became much more urgent after Sept. 11, 2001, and with the looming war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"The events of Sept. 11 reaffirmed the importance of what DTRA does," said Wynne.

Younger received a bachelor of arts in physics from the Catholic University of America, and a master of science and Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of Maryland.

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