Daryl Hauck became the manager of NNSA’s Sandia Field Office in August, leading government oversight of Sandia, which is government owned and contractor operated. He also leads the daily operations of the field office and is responsible for the overall administration of the approximately $3.9 billion per year Sandia contract.
As a federally funded research and development center, there is a special and trusting relationship between Sandia and the government, Hauck said. He described his role as representing government oversight of the safe and secure operations of Sandia while also providing stewardship of the Labs, championing efforts to update infrastructure and taking a governance approach to overseeing the Sandia contract.
“Given the scope of work, and the expertise of our partners, it is far more appropriate and effective to focus on collaboratively establishing and maintaining the Labs’ assurance systems than it would be for the government to directly oversee daily operations,” Hauck said.
Hauck is a retired U.S. Air Force brigadier general and served as the program executive officer for stockpile modernization in NNSA’s Office of Defense prior to becoming the field office manager.
The Lab News recently sat down with Hauck for an interview about his background and his new role at Sandia.
Lab News: Can you tell us about your background and what originally drew you to the U.S. Air Force Academy and the study of operations research, systems management and industrial engineering?
Hauck: I grew up on a steady diet of books like “Battle of Britain,” “30 Seconds over Tokyo,” “The Flying Tigers” and “The Right Stuff.” I came to realize our history has been written by ordinary Americans who encountered extraordinary circumstances and rose to the occasion. Seeing a few airshows didn’t hurt. I just knew I wanted to be around people like that, and that has proven to be true. My college undergraduate curriculum exposed me to a variety of topics, and I became interested in using quantitative methods to solve problems that were hard to define. Given the complexity of what we do now, understanding the complete system as well as the environment in which we are operating is essential to arriving at solutions that will be effective.
Lab News: What are some of your proudest career achievements to date?
Hauck: While in the U.S. Air Force, I led the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance portfolio, providing many rapid responses to joint urgent operational needs from U.S. Central Command in Operation Enduring Freedom. Culminating that career at the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, and now with NNSA, I am very proud of our progress in recapitalizing our strategic weapons, both delivery platforms and warheads, laying the groundwork for years to come.
Lab News: For people newer in their career at Sandia and the NNSA, how would you describe your role and your day-to-day work?
Hauck: My role is to enable the Laboratories’ mission in a collaborative and responsive manner … finding a way to quickly say, “yes,” to the plans and programs that allow us to operate safely and securely, delivering the services and products our nation needs, and revitalizing our infrastructure to enable us to keep that promise in the future. Our bywords will be “innovate, collaborate and execute” as we partner with the Labs to deliver on our commitments. The complexity of our challenges and the caliber of our team makes this energizing and fulfilling.
Lab News: What has surprised you most about your current role as Sandia Field Office Manager?
Hauck: Probably the sheer volume of environmental compliance reporting across multiple states. That said, it is vital to be good stewards of natural resources as we accomplish our important missions.
Lab News: Looking ahead, what are you most looking forward to at Sandia and the field office?
Hauck: It’s exciting to gain the full perspective on all of Sandia’s contributions. I would say I already have a strong appreciation of Sandia’s role in the nuclear weapons stockpile, and it has been very interesting to see the entire “virtuous cycle” in play that leverages relevant technologies in a synergistic way.
Lab News: Would you like to share about your family and any interests outside of work?
Hauck: My spouse, Amy Lautenschlager, leads the Advanced Studies and Analysis Division at the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center. We share a strong family commitment to strategic deterrence. I have also discovered an almost secret society of audiophiles in our complex, and it has been very enjoyable to rediscover music on equipment that reveals exquisite detail.
Lab News: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Hauck: It has been a pleasure getting to know Labs Director James Peery. I’m really looking forward to continuing a great partnership with him and meeting more and more of the fantastic people making this Laboratory the crown jewel that it is.