Gary Sanders

Vice President, Weapons Engineering and Product Realization, Chief Engineer for Nuclear Weapons

Gary A. Sanders

Gary A. Sanders is Vice President of Weapons Engineering and Product Realization and the Chief Engineer for Nuclear Weapons at Sandia National Laboratories, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) multi-program engineering and science laboratory located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is the executive responsible for leading the sustainment, maintenance and assessment of the current nuclear weapons stockpile warhead systems and components; modernization life extension programs and alterations; exploration of advanced weapon architectures and technologies; pursuit of engineering excellence improvements; and assisting the Executive Vice President and Laboratory Director in the formulation of Sandia nuclear weapons policy and strategy. He represents Sandia at national venues on nuclear weapons strategy and planning.

In his 34 years at Sandia National Laboratories, Sanders has held numerous leadership roles in nuclear reactor and nuclear weapons engineering and safety design and evaluation including design, testing, independent assessment, programmatic and technical integration of science-based stockpile stewardship, and personnel management. His work experience also spans a variety of governmental organizations consisting of the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, DOE/HQ/Defense Programs, Air Force Directorate of Nuclear and Counterproliferation (AF/XON), and DOE national laboratories, as well as at the Bettis Atomic Power Laboratories as a Navy nuclear reactor designer. In addition, he has experience and long standing interactions with the nuclear weapons community consisting of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Navy, many Air Force major commands, USSTRATCOM, DNFSB, Pantex, and United Kingdom, French and Russian nuclear technical agencies.

Sanders received his Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from George Washington University. He received his M.S. degree in mechanical engineering and his B.S. degree in Nuclear Engineering and Reactor Design, both from Pennsylvania State University.

Sanders is a recipient of two distinguished awards from the Department of the Air Force for Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service in 2012 and Award for Exemplary Civilian Service in 1999.