Ken Walker has more than 37 years of experience in the nuclear industry with a proven track record of achieving operational excellence, performance improvement, and mission assurance by aligning processes, teams, and technical expertise while maximizing safety, quality and productivity. This experience includes 21 years in Senior Leadership positions, overseeing 100-4,000 people. He has operated at the executive level in several large government contractor companies, and worked in senior program management and operations roles at various large nuclear sites around the world including Washington, Nevada, New York, Kentucky, California, New Mexico, England, and Abu Dhabi.
He began his career as a United States Navy Nuclear Submarine Officer, rising to Commanding Officer of a nuclear attack submarine, Senior Nuclear Inspector, and then Chief of Staff for the nation’s largest Submarine Group. After twenty-six years in the Navy, Mr. Walker joined CH2M Hill and stepped through various management and executive level positions of increasing responsibility and diversity. These included Deputy VP at Hanford’s Tank Farms, Program Manager and Key Positions on four major nuclear DOE or foreign projects/bids. He has led over 80 inspections/reviews of safety, compliance, and performance at nuclear sites/facilities, and has specifically provided Strategic Planning and Senior Management Readiness Mentoring.
Mr. Walker has a Master of Public Administration in National Policy and Foreign Affairs from the JFK School of Government at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 1994. He is a Certified Naval Nuclear Engineer(Master Degree Equivalent), Navy Nuclear Power Program, and has a Bachelor of Science in Oceanography and Naval Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, 1981. He held a TS/SCI Clearance for 22 years in U.S. Navy and has a currently active DOE Q Clearance.
Mr. Walker has held numerous high level management positions in the nuclear industry, including: Deputy Vice President for Retrieval Operations, Tank Farms, Hanford; Director of Fleet Management, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, United Arab Emirates; Director of Maintenance, Construction, Project Management, and Conduct of Operations, CH2M-Hill Plateau Remediation Contract (CHPRC), Hanford; Deputy Project Manager for Separations Process Research Unit, Niskayuna, NY; and Director of Nuclear Safety and Performance Evaluation Board, CHPRC, Hanford.
While with National Security Technologies at the Nevada National Security Site, he overhauled the strategic approach and reinvigorated senior leadership to improve performance across company in health, safety, environment, quality, operations, performance assurance, management and productivity. He implemented new processes and systems such as an Executive Review Board, an Issues Resolution and Improvement System, and a Senior Management Observation Program to improve oversight and operations on complex project initiatives and safety management programs, which led to cultural and operational improvements, and highest ever fee score for the company. Despite serious safety events, the company achieved the DOE VPP Star re-certification at three sites within one year.
As a Senior Consultant at Sandia National Laborary, Mr. Walker led a team of senior professionals in a thorough assessment of Environmental, Safety & Health as part of Contract Transition and Readiness at the nation’s largest national laboratory. The transition and assessment were recognized by the Department of Energy as a standard for all future transitions.
Mr. Walker is recognized in the nuclear industry for his expertise in Conduct of Operations – the proper way of conducting business (Safety, Attention to Detail, Procedural Compliance, Questioning Attitude, Command and Control, Communications, Accountability, and Integrity). He was specifically selected as a Senior Consultant at six nuclear sites/projects to improve performance in advance of major contract milestones such as Operational Readiness Reviews. He is an expert at leading people and solving problems at high hazard industrial sites and promoting coordination between all relevant functions related to Readiness to Safely Conduct Nuclear Operations in accordance with DOE Order 425.1D.