In Memoriam: Joe Klemencic

It is with great sadness that I report the unexpected and untimely passing of Joe Klemencic, Fermilab’s deputy chief information security officer. Joe joined Fermilab in 2001 as the first full-time cyber security analyst to be hired by the lab. He first worked in the Business Services Section, running the small group that secured all the financial applications. He later moved to the Computing Division, where he established and ran the cyber security team that provides protection for the entire lab and has now grown to 16 people. He also applied his technical and managerial skills when filling in as a temporary leader in other areas of the Core Computing Division.

After providing both technical and strategic leadership for many years, Joe became the deputy CISO in early 2019. This involved a significant expansion of his portfolio to include serving on DOE task forces and interactions with several levels of the DOE and sections of the lab, including the Office of General Counsel and Human Resources. For me, he was less my deputy and more my partner. I had complete confidence in him and was able to share tasks with the assurance that they would be accomplished effectively and efficiently.

Joe’s management style centered around giving his subordinates responsibility for their own tasks. While he was always there to answer questions or offer advice if asked, he allowed people enough freedom so they could learn from their efforts and take satisfaction from successful project completion. That way he molded a security team that continues to provide protection in an increasingly challenging cyber environment, minimizing interference with the lab’s mission while maintaining strong compliance with DOE requirements.

Joe’s work impacted every area of the laboratory. The successes of our cyber program are a tribute to his talent and his dedication. He will be sorely missed.

Services for Joe will be held on Thursday, June 16, at the DeFiore Funeral Home, 10763 Dundee Rd, Huntley, with visitation from 4-8 p.m. and services held at 6:30 p.m. The family has requested casual dress and attendees be masked.

Joe’s obituary can be read here.

Those wishing to provide a meal for Joe’s family (either in person or to be delivered) can do so via MealTrain.