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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Chief Data Scientist - Generative AI in Richland, Washington


Protecting U.S. residents and visitors is among our nation’s highest priorities. As adversaries gain access to sophisticated technologies and materials, the threats grow more dynamic and complex—from cyber and nuclear to chemical and biological weapons of mass effect and other forms of terrorism. The PNNL national security mission employs our researchers, tools, and technologies to play a key role in advancing the ability to identify and secure nuclear materials, detect weapons of mass effect, manage nonproliferation treaties, secure our nation's borders, and protect critical infrastructures. PNNL’s scientific discovery and capabilities—rooted in innovative theory, methods, algorithms, and tools—are enabling stronger, more resilient technologies and systems to safeguard national security. Coupled with decades of radiological and nuclear materials expertise, advanced computing and threat analysis capabilities, and a broad fundamental science base, we are identifying and countering emerging threats that have significant impact at home and around the globe.

PNNL’s National Security Directorate tackles grand challenges for the nation through advanced science and technology in a people-focused environment.  We are adventurous and collaborative innovators who strive to lead the way in interdisciplinary and data-driven science, technology, and engineering. We encourage lifelong learning and reward creative problem solving.

PNNL is seeking a Senior Data Scientist (level 5) that will drive cutting-edge research in generative AI in PNNL’s AI and Data Analytics Division. The AI and Data Analytics Division includes over 400 staff working in data science and applied math, advanced analytic architectures, software engineering, and human-centered computing. The selected candidate will possess the experience and expertise required to influence the future directions of AI within the division, share their deep understanding of the sponsor mission, and guide the execution of laboratory research investments as well as high priority projects in data science and artificial intelligence. They will also play a key role in PNNL’s Center for AI and work across the organization partnering with scientist in applying AI to a variety of technical domains.

How We Work:

  • We are intensely collaborative: Key decisions are made by incorporating perspectives of diverse stakeholders.  We build relationships inside the Laboratory founded on mutual respect.

  • We lead with integrity: Our missions focus on some of the most critical issues facing the nation and bring significant safety and security expectations.

  • We lead through influence: Senior data scientists have specific responsibilities and accountabilities, they also must influence positive change inside the Laboratory and with external stakeholders beyond their immediate areas of responsibility.

  • We are mission-driven: We start with why – connecting our discovery science to applied R&D that meets real-world requirements.

This position may be based in either Richland WA or Seattle WA.


In this position we are seeking a candidate that is a nationally recognized data science expert and adept at developing and fostering client relationships. It is expected that the individual identified for this position will:

  • Advance the state of the art in data science specifically as it applies to generative AI.

  • Serve in a leadership role on the PNNL Generative AI research investment.

  • Drive and execute against a research agenda that will influence scientific and technological developments in AI.

  • Serve as a technical advisor on complex data science projects.

  • Develop new project opportunities and lead the development of technical proposals.

  • Publish and present research findings in high-impact journals and at professional conferences.

  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams across PNNL and other DOE National Labs to design and implement integrated solutions for critical national challenges.

  • Leverage and maintain your external network of other institutions’ senior technical leaders.

  • Stay current with industry trends and advancements in data science and machine learning.

  • Actively engage with senior leaders in industry, academia and national laboratories to shape strategic thinking about future investments.

  • Mentor and develop mid-level to senior data scientists.

  • Attract senior technical leaders to PNNL.

  • Serve as a role model for effective and creative technical leadership at the national level.

Designs, develops, and implements methods, processes, and systems to analyze diverse data. Applies knowledge of statistics, machine learning, advanced mathematics, simulation, software development, and data modeling to integrate and clean data, recognize patterns, address uncertainty, pose questions, and make discoveries from structured and/or unstructured data. Produces solutions driven by exploratory data analysis from complex and high-dimensional datasets. Designs, develops, and evaluates predictive models and advanced algorithms that lead to optimal value extraction from the data. Demonstrates ability to transfer skills across application domains.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • BS/BA and 9+ years of relevant work experience -OR-

  • MS/MA and 7+ years of relevant work experience -OR-

  • PhD with 5+ year of relevant experience

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Advanced degree in a computing or engineering discipline, mathematics or statistics, or a related field

  • Recognized nationally as an authority in AI/ML

  • Established network of senior technical thought leaders in data science

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills

  • Exceptional and sustained record of technical products influencing AI

  • Proven experience leading multi-disciplinary teams

  • Experience in securing external funding and managing research portfolios

  • Ability to effectively engage with funding sponsors such as the Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Agency, Department of Defense, or Department of Homeland Security; demonstrated ability to initiate substantial new R&D efforts and collaborations

  • Ability to interact at the highest levels of management, both internally and externally, in a constructive and collaborative manner

  • Active security clearance

Hazardous Working Conditions/Environment

Not applicable.

Additional Information


This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a federal security clearance.


  • U.S. Citizenship

  • Background Investigation: Applicants selected will be subject to a Federal background investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified matter in accordance with 10 CFR 710, Appendix B.

  • Drug Testing: All Security Clearance positions are Testing Designated Positions, which means that the candidate selected is subject to pre-employment and random drug testing. In addition, applicants must be able to demonstrate non-use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, for the 12 consecutive months preceding completion of the requisite Questionnaire for National Security Positions (QNSP).

Note: Applicants will be considered ineligible for security clearance processing by the U.S. Department of Energy until non-use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, for 12 months can be demonstrated.

erral Eligible”

Testing Designated Position

This position is a Testing Designated Position (TDP). The candidate selected for this position will be subject to pre-employment and random drug testing for illegal drugs, including marijuana, consistent with the Controlled Substances Act and the PNNL Workplace Substance Abuse Program.

About PNNL

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is a world-class research institution powered by a highly educated, diverse workforce committed to the values of Integrity, Creativity, Collaboration, Impact, and Courage. Every year, scores of dynamic, driven people come to PNNL to work with renowned researchers on meaningful science, innovations and outcomes for the U.S. Department of Energy and other sponsors; here is your chance to be one of them!

At PNNL, you will find an exciting research environment and excellent benefits including health insurance, flexible work schedules and telework options. PNNL is located in eastern Washington State—the dry side of Washington known for its stellar outdoor recreation and affordable cost of living. The Lab’s campus is only a 45-minute flight (or 3-hour drive) from Seattle or Portland, and is serviced by the convenient PSC airport, connected to 8 major hubs.

Commitment to Excellence, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Equal Employment Opportunity

Our laboratory is committed to a diverse and inclusive work environment dedicated to solving critical challenges in fundamental sciences, national security, and energy resiliency. We are proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. In support of this commitment, we encourage people of all racial/ethnic identities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities to apply for employment.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory considers all applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), national origin, age, disability, genetic information (including family medical history), protected veteran status, and any other status or characteristic protected by federal, state, and/or local laws.

We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application procedures and in employment. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, contact us at careers@pnnl.gov .

Drug Free Workplace

PNNL is committed to a drug-free workplace supported by Workplace Substance Abuse Program (WSAP) and complies with federal laws prohibiting the possession and use of illegal drugs.

If you are offered employment at PNNL, you must pass a drug test prior to commencing employment. PNNL complies with federal law regarding illegal drug use. Under federal law, marijuana remains an illegal drug. If you test positive for any illegal controlled substance, including marijuana, your offer of employment will be withdrawn.

HSPD-12 PIV Credential Requirement

In accordance with Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12) and Department of Energy (DOE) Order 473.1A, new employees are required to obtain and maintain a HSPD-12 Personal Identity Verification (PIV) Credential. To obtain this credential, new employees must successfully complete and pass a Federal Tier 1 background check investigation. This investigation includes a declaration of illegal drug activities, including use, supply, possession, or manufacture within the last year. This includes marijuana and cannabis derivatives, which are still considered illegal under federal law, regardless of state laws.

Mandatory Requirements

Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from having any affiliation with the foreign government of a country DOE has identified as a “country of risk” without explicit approval by DOE and Battelle. If you are offered a position at PNNL and currently have any affiliation with the government of one of these countries, you will be required to disclose this information and recuse yourself of that affiliation or receive approval from DOE and Battelle prior to your first day of employment.

Rockstar Rewards

Employees and their families are offered medical insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, health savings account, flexible spending accounts, basic life insurance, disability insurance, employee assistance program, business travel insurance, tuition assistance, supplemental parental bonding leave, surrogacy and adoption assistance, and fertility support. Employees are automatically enrolled in our company funded pension plan and may enroll in our 401k savings plan. Employees may accrue up to 120 vacation hours per year and may receive ten paid holidays per year.

  • Research Associates excluded.

**Once eligibility requirements are met.

Click Here For Rockstar Rewards (https://careers.pnnl.gov/rockstar-rewards)

Notice to Applicants

PNNL lists the full pay range for the position in the job posting. Starting pay is calculated from the minimum of the pay range and actual placement in the range is determined based on an individual’s relevant job-related skills, qualifications, and experience. This approach is applicable to all positions, with the exception of positions governed by collective bargaining agreements and certain limited-term positions which have specific pay rules.

As part of our commitment to fair compensation practices, we do not ask for or consider current or past salaries in making compensation offers at hire. Instead, our compensation offers are determined by the specific requirements of the position, prevailing market trends, applicable collective bargaining agreements, pay equity for the position type, and individual qualifications and skills relevant to the performance of the position.

Minimum Salary

USD $184,700.00/Yr.

Maximum Salary

USD $318,000.00/Yr.