On Monday, Jan. 8, Fermilab welcomed its first special advisor to the chief operating officer, Katherine L. “Kate” Gregory. A retired and decorated rear admiral, she served as the U.S. Navy’s senior civil engineer prior to retirement in 2015.
At Fermilab, Gregory will initially focus on labwide improvements to acquisition planning, forecasting and execution; defining and developing the Fermi Research Alliance governance model for activities in South Dakota; and serving on the advisory committee for the lab’s Accelerator and Detector Modernization Plan effort.
“Kate brings a wealth of experience ranging from professional engineering and project management to acquisition strategy and industrial safety,” said Chief Operating Officer Tim Meyer. “She will be a resource to the entire senior leadership team, and we are delighted that she is bringing her many talents to Fermilab.”
Gregory is already deeply familiar with Fermilab, having served on the Fermi Research Alliance Board of Directors from January 2016 until the start of her term as special advisor. While an FRA Board member, Gregory’s expertise contributed to the work of the Operations and Finance, Executive and Governance, and Environment, Safety and Health committees. She also recently served on the FRA Board’s review committee for the laboratory’s tritium management plan.
“Serving on the FRA Board has introduced me to the inspirational work going on at Fermilab and the unique challenges scientific research poses from an operational and management perspective,” Gregory said. “I am excited to be a part of the Fermilab story during this pivotal moment in the lab’s history.”
A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Gregory holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the U.S. Naval Academy, the University of Southern California and George Washington University. She has completed the Senior Executive Program at the London School of Business and is a registered professional engineer.
After joining the Navy in 1978, Gregory served in roles of increasing responsibility, including as the chief of staff for the First Naval Construction Division and the Pacific Fleet engineer and commander of Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Pacific. In 2012 she took command of all NAVFAC, leading a global organization of 19,000 people executing Navy construction and facility programs that provided more than $12 billion in annual facilities engineering, construction and maintenance services.
Following retirement from the Navy, Gregory served as Iowa State University’s first senior vice president for university services from 2016 to November 2017.
“The depth and breadth of Kate’s experience in overseeing the construction, operation and maintenance of large facilities will be a true asset to Fermilab as we build and operate the international Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility and Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment,” said Fermilab Director Nigel Lockyer. “We are pleased to welcome her to the Fermilab team.”