Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Associate Laboratory Director, Weapons Physics

As Associate Laboratory Director for  Weapons Physics, Charlie Nakhleh directs programs to assure the safety, security, and effectiveness of the systems in the nation’s nuclear stockpile.


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Charlie Nakhleh


Charles W. Nakhleh is the Associate Laboratory Director for Weapons Physics (ALDX) at Los Alamos National Laboratory. In this role, he has line responsibility for the nuclear weapons designers and simulation code architects at the Laboratory, as well as program responsibility for the NA-11 weapons science, computing, and technology maturation portfolio.

Prior to taking on his current role, he was the Executive Officer to the Deputy Director for Weapons (DDW), where he was responsible to the DDW for integrating and aligning activities across the weapons program.

From 2013 to 2018, he was the Division Leader of the X-Theoretical Design Division (XTD) at Los Alamos National Laboratory. As the XTD Division Leader, he oversaw nuclear weapon physics design, assessment, and certification efforts at the Laboratory. Before returning to Los Alamos, he led the Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) Target Design Department in the Pulsed Power Sciences Center at Sandia National Laboratories. At Sandia, he led theoretical design and analysis efforts for magnetically-driven ICF and radiation-effects targets for the Z pulsed-power facility and indirect-drive experiments for the National Ignition Campaign (NIC). Before joining Sandia, he served as Group Leader (acting) and Deputy Group Leader for the Thermonuclear Applications Group in the Applied Physics (X) Division of Los Alamos. He spent nearly a decade before that as a staff member in X Division, where he served as a weapon system point-of-contact, worked extensively on uncertainty quantification, and made significant contributions to a wide variety of weapons physics and design issues.

Charlie is a graduate of the Theoretical Institute of Thermonuclear and Nuclear Studies (TITANS) program at Los Alamos. He has served on a wide variety of advisory panels, including as a founding member of the NNSA’s Predictive Science Panel, a consultant to JASON, an adviser to the Undersecretary of Energy for Science on the NIC, and as an adviser to the NNSA on a variety of weapons physics issues.

In addition to his leadership and management responsibilities, his research interests span a wide range of nuclear weapons design and physics issues, ICF, high-energy-density physics, and applications of Bayesian inference techniques. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from Cornell University in 1996.