Njema Frazier is a member of the Federal Senior Executive Service (SES) and currently serves as the Director, Office of Experimental Sciences, Defense Programs, National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Washington, District of Columbia. In this capacity, Dr. Frazier oversees a $1.3B weapons science R&D program to direct, plan, coordinate, and execute experiments in fields ranging from nuclear physics, hydrodynamics, plasma physics, and materials science, to high energy density and ignition science. As Director she also provides expert scientific, technical and budget advice to senior Defense Programs (DP), NNSA, DOE, Interagency partners, and Congressional members and staff on the management, direction, and requirements for NNSA Defense Program’s Experimental Sciences Portfolio.
Prior to her current assignment, she served as the served as the Acting Director for the Office of Inertial Confinement Fusion. Since joining NNSA in 2001, Dr. Frazier has served as an Acting Director, Acting Deputy, and Physicist/Subject Matter Expert (SME) for a number of NNSA’s flagship scientific and technical programs established to ensure the United States maintains a safe, secure and effective nuclear weapons stockpile without explosive testing. She also spent three years representing NNSA on detail as a Visiting Professor at National Defense University. Prior to joining the NNSA, Dr. Frazier was a professional staff member for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science for four years.
A long-time trailblazer in science, Frazier was the first African-American woman to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in physics from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as the first to receive a Ph.D. in theoretical nuclear physics from Michigan State University. As the co-founder of the DOE POWER (Professional Opportunities for Women at Energy Realized) Employee Resource Group and member of both the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) National Advisory Board and the Mellon College of Science Dean’s Council, she continues to champion STEM and DEI in education and the workforce. Currently, Frazier serves as the NNSA representative for the DOE Taskforce on Equity – R&D Working Group, for President Biden's EO 13985: Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.
Throughout her career, Dr. Frazier has received wide recognition for her leadership and professional excellence, including selection as a Leadership Ambassador for the Department of Energy OneDOE Campaign; DOE Champion for the Minorities in Energy Initiative (MEI); recipient of the National Defense University, Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award; recipient of the National Nuclear Security Administration Distinguished Service Award; Ebony Magazine, Power 100 Honoree; Black Engineer of the Year, Science Spectrum's Trailblazer Award recipient; and Black Girls Rock! STEM Tech recipient.