Skip to content

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, joined his colleagues in advancing Dr. Rita Baranwal’s nomination for Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy at the Department of Energy (DOE) to the Senate floor. Dr. Baranwal, the director of DOE’s Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative at Idaho National Lab (INL), will now be considered by the full Senate. 

“With over 20 years’ experience in the nuclear industry, Dr. Baranwal has dedicated her life to studying and developing nuclear energy and has a vast understanding of DOE’s national labs and programs,” said Senator Risch. “I have seen the groundbreaking work done at INL under Dr. Baranwal’s leadership, and I know she will be a tremendous asset at DOE. I thank the Committee for advancing her nomination today and I look forward to confirming her on the Senate floor.”

Senator Crapo said: "Dr. Baranwal has demonstrated unparalleled qualifications for this position through her work at the Idaho National Laboratory. I look forward to confirming her in the U.S. Senate."

Dr. Rita Baranwal currently serves as the director of DOE’s GAIN initiative at INL. Prior to leading the GAIN initiative, Dr. Baranwal spent more than 20 years working in the nuclear industry, including nearly a decade at Westinghouse in the Nuclear Fuel division. At Westinghouse, Dr. Baranwal led numerous R&D programs, including examining nuclear fuel and fuel rods. Dr. Baranwal also worked for the Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory after completing graduate school. She received her Master’s and Doctorate in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan and her bachelor’s in the same discipline from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.