Gregory B. Jaczko, Chairman
The Honorable Gregory B. Jaczko was designated Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission by President Barack Obama on May 13, 2009. He was first sworn in as a Commissioner on Jan. 21, 2005. Dr. Jaczko resigned on July 9, 2012.
Throughout his tenure on the Commission, Dr. Jaczko focused on the NRC being a decisive safety regulator with the confidence of the public. He worked to have the agency clearly communicate with the public and its licensees. Dr. Jaczko focused on the safety of existing nuclear reactors and radioactive materials, implementing a predictable safety review process for license applications, ensuring the agency conducts thorough environmental reviews, and promoting strong enforcement and accountability.
Dr. Jaczko led efforts to strengthen security regulations for nuclear power plants – including requiring new nuclear power plants to be designed to withstand an aircraft crash. He championed initiatives to strengthen the safety and security of radioactive materials – including the development and implementation of a comprehensive national source tracking system. He promoted efforts to modernize emergency preparedness programs and to develop a Commission policy on the importance of a healthy “safety culture” at the NRC and its licensees. Dr. Jaczko also worked to shape agency budgets to ensure staff has the tools and guidance documents they need to do their jobs.
Dr. Jaczko firmly believed that the NRC should be as open with information as possible to best accomplish its mission of protecting public health and safety and the environment. Because he believed public involvement strengthens the formulation of public policy, Dr. Jaczko encouraged all stakeholders – including licensees, vendors, state and local governments, interest groups, and the general public – to participate in NRC policy-making efforts.
Dr. Jaczko's professional career has been devoted to science, and its use and impact in the public policy arena. Immediately prior to assuming the post of Commissioner, Dr. Jaczko served as appropriations director for U.S. Sen. Harry Reid and also served as the Senator's science policy advisor. He began his Washington, D.C., career as a congressional science fellow in the office of U.S. Rep. Edward Markey. In addition, he has been an adjunct professor at Georgetown University teaching science and policy.
Born in Pennsylvania and raised in upstate New York, Dr. Jaczko earned a bachelor's degree in physics and philosophy from Cornell University, and a doctorate in physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Dr. Jaczko is married and resides in Washington, D.C.