Former PNNL director appointed as WSU regent

Lura-Powell-PicturePULLMAN, Wash. – Lura J. Powell, former director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and a long-standing leader in the U.S. research and technology community, is the newest member of the Washington State University Board of Regents. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced the appointment today.

“Lura has played a key role in shaping the development and expansion of life sciences research in our state,” Inslee said. “She has a deep passion for the opportunities afforded by a strong research enterprise and higher education system. It is a privilege to appoint her to the governing board of our state’s research land-grant institution.”

Inslee also thanked Fran Forgette for his nine years of service on the WSU Board of Regents.

WSU President Elson S. Floyd lauded Powell’s appointment.

“Dr. Powell’s comprehensive understanding of scientific research and development, along with her deep connection to the state of Washington, make her a perfect addition to the WSU Board of Regents, “ he said. “I look forward to working with her.”

Powell, whose term will run through 2019, served as director of PNNL, operated by Battelle, and was senior vice president of Battelle 2000-2002. Prior to that, she was director of the Advanced Technology Program at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology. There, she was responsible for selection and management of a high-risk technology portfolio that spanned the full range of technology sectors.

Following her government service, Powell was president and CEO of Advanced Imaging Technologies.

Former Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire appointed Powell to serve as the first chair of the Board of Trustees of the Washington State Life Sciences Discovery Fund Authority in 2005, a position she held until June 30, 2013. Powell also chaired the Biotechnology Research Committee of the National Science and Technology Council, which coordinated biotechnology research across the federal government. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Washington Technology Alliance, Avista Corp. and the Tri-City Development Council (TRIDEC).

A long-time resident of the Tri-Cities, Powell serves on the Tri-Cities Evolution Task Force; the Delta High School Catalyst Team, a STEM school; and Soropotimist International of Pasco-Kennewick where she serves on the Tri-Cities Soroptimist Against Human Trafficking task force.

Powell holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Maryland. She is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.



Kathy Barnard, WSU University Communications, 509-335-8055,