Sandia LabNews

Sandian honored with DOE Classification Award of Excellence


CLASS(IFICATION) ACT — Sandia Corporate Classification Officer Ron McIntosh has been awarded the 2013 DOE Office of Classification Award of Excellence. Ron has been described as “the epitome of a classification professional.”            (Photo by Randy Montoya)

Ron McIntosh (4250) has been named the recipient of the 2013 DOE Office of Classification Award of Excellence. Ron led Sandia’s Classification Office for six years as both the manager and classification officer for Sandia/New Mexico before recently moving into a new role as the corporate classification officer.

In a letter nominating him for the award, Edith Chalk, director of the Office of Technical Guidance in DOE’s Office of Classification, said, “Mr. McIntosh has been the epitome of a classification professional and a valued asset to both the Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration.”

Ron, a Chicago native who came to Sandia in 1983 after graduating from Morrison Institute of Technology, expressed his appreciation for the award.

“DOE has by far the best classification program in the government,” he says. “Given this and the fact this is the highest recognition that an

individual can receive from the agency for their contributions to the program, I am truly grateful. Although this award has my name on it, it is the result of the contributions and efforts of numerous individuals in Sandia’s Classification Department who make our program outstanding. I am humbled and very appreciative to have been selected for this award.”

During his 30-year career at Sandia, Ron was involved in a wide range of programs, including Nuclear Weapons and other mission areas, before moving to the Classification Department in 2001.

It was in that capacity that Ron found the sweet spot suited to his experience, his training, his temperament, and his interests.

‘Never-ending challenges’

“This role poses a never-ending challenge,” Ron says. “As a national security lab, Sandia has a very significant role on the national security stage. As the classification officer, I’m in a unique position to be able to engage in some aspect of each of these activities to ensure our national security assets are protected.”

At Classification, Ron was responsible for ensuring development and keeping up to date 16 local Sandia classification guides that Chalk characterizes as “models for local classification” throughout NNSA.

In a bid to keep the classification office current with evolving technologies, Ron implemented a process to scan all technical reference material in the Classification vault. The effort resulted in a notable reduction in the amount of paper holdings and in turn the security footprint at the Labs. The process was a major undertaking: Almost 70 years’ worth of paper-based documents were mapped and methodically scanned into an electronic database accessible to the entire Classification staff, resulting in a user-friendly system that has tremendously increased staff efficiency.

During his tenure as classification officer, Ron has been responsible for appointing, training, and maintaining technical currency of some 500 derivative classifiers. Additionally, he has been a leader in the electronic distribution of classification guides to derivative classifiers. His approach has been adopted by many other field classification officers across the weapons enterprise.

Ron’s innovative and proactive leadership of the Classification Office, Chalk wrote, as well as the customer service approach he instilled in his staff, elicited praise from all levels of management at Sandia and from his peers across the nation’s nuclear weapons enterprise.

According to Chalk, Ron’s “influence, sound advice, and technical expertise are sought after” from classification professionals throughout DOE.

“Above all,” Chalk wrote, “Mr. McIntosh is a team player, one whom everyone in the Classification community enjoys working with. He never fails to tackle a problem and provide a meaningful, workable solution. He is respected by his staff, his peers, and his superiors for his excellent character and sound judgment.”