John F. Ahearne, Chairman
The biographies for all of the former Commissioners in this section are the official ones they used during their Commission terms.
John F. Ahearne was sworn in a member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on July 31, 1978, to serve a five-year term ending June 30, 1983. He was named Chairman of the Commission by President Carter on December 7, 1979.
Before joining the Commission, Mr. Ahearne was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Resource Applications in the Department of Energy. He previously had served on the staff of the White House Energy Policy and Planning Office, working on the nuclear and conservation portions of the National Energy Act.
Commissioner Ahearne earned his B.S. degree in engineering physics from Cornell University in 1957 and also holds an M.S. degree from Cornell. In 1966 he was awarded a Ph.D. degree in physics by Princeton University and also holds an M.A. degree from Princeton.
Mr. Ahearne served in the U.S. Air Force from 1959 to 1970. From 1964 to 1969, he was an associate professor of Physics at the Air Force Academy, an adjunct professor of physics at the University of Colorado Extension, and a lecturer in physics at Colorado College. In 1969 and 1970, her served on the staff of the Air Defense Division of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Analysis and from 1970 to 1972 was Director of te Tactical Air Directorate in that office.
Beginning in 1972, Mr. Ahearne successively was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for General Purpose Programs in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Program Analysis and Evaluation) and Principal Deputy Assistant Secreatry of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.
He joined the White House staff in February, 1977.