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Gaithersburg, MD 20879
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US Fusion Head Anne Davies to Retire

February 24, 2006

Dr. N. Anne Davies, head of the U. S. Fusion Energy Sciences program since 1989, will retire April 3. The Department of Energy is soliciting applications for the post until March 31.

A Batchelor of Physics graduate of Vassar College, Dr. Davies received her Ph.D. in 1972 from Yale University and then worked 2 years as a Research Associate at the University of Texas, Austin. In 1974 she joined the fusion office at the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission as a physicist in the Tokamak Systems Branch. One year later she was named Chief of that Branch. Dr. Davies served as Chief of that Branch for 5 years, during a period of rapid budget growth of the U. S. fusion program (from approximately $50 M per year to approximately $350 M per year). During that period several large new tokamak facilities were constructed, including the Doublet III tokamak at General Atomics and the PDX and TFTR facilities at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. She was named Director of the Toroidal Confinement Systems Division of the Office of Fusion Energy in 1980 and Deputy Director of U. S. fusion program in 1985. In 1989, she assumed leadership of the U. S. fusion energy program.

Dr. Davies has served the U. S. fusion community as its leader during a time of budget and policy stress. While impressive scientific achievements were being made in both magnetic and inertial confinement fusion, budgets were slashed from $345 M in FY 1989 to $230 M in FY 1999. Many programs had to be terminated, including TFTR, the largest U. S. fusion facility and the U. S. was forced to withdraw from the international ITER design project. Since FY 1999, a sympathetic Congress has allowed the U. S. budget to increase to $288 M in FY 2006 and the U. S. has rejoined the ITER project, now about to go into construction in France. Dr. Davies has played a major role in guiding the U. S. fusion community during this difficult period of its history.

She has received many awards during her career, including the DOE Meritorious Service Award (1984), Meritorious Presidential Rank Award (1991), DOE Secretary of Energy Gold Medal (1997), and Meritorious Presidential Executive Rank Award (1999). She is also an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society.