Steven Ashby


For his career-long dedication and leadership to addressing our nation’s greatest challenges through scientific discovery and technological innovation, his extensive service to research organizations and communities, and his strong commitment to support our next generation of talent.

Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

  • BS, Mathematics/Computer Science, University of Santa Clara, 1982
  • MS, Computer Science, The Grainger College of Engineering, 1985
  • PhD, Computer Science, The Grainger College of Engineering, 1988

Dr. Steven Ashby is Director of the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, where he sets PNNL’s strategic direction and oversees its $1.4 billion research and development budget. Under his leadership, PNNL’s nearly 6,000 talented staff members draw on signature capabilities in chemistry, earth sciences, biology, and data science to advance scientific discovery, enable energy sustainability and enhance national security.  

Dr. Ashby previously served as PNNL’s Deputy Director for Science and Technology and spent nearly 21 years at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, ultimately serving as Deputy Principal Associate Director for Science and Technology.

A widely recognized leader in computational science, Dr. Ashby is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics; member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences; Commissioner for the Council on Competitiveness; and serves on advisory committees for local and state organizations, including the Washington Roundtable. He was recognized by The Grainger College of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science with a Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award in 2016. 

A strong advocate for investing in and inspiring our next generation of talent, Dr. Ashby established The Ashby Prize in Computational Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, awarded to a multidisciplinary team of students for the innovative use of high-performance computing to address a problem of societal significance. Dr. Ashby credits much of his academic inspiration to his thesis advisor, the late Professor Paul Saylor and stays in touch with Paul’s lovely wife, Cindy Saylor. 

Dr. Ashby and his wife, Dr. Elizabeth Ong, live in Richland, Washington, and have two grown children.  

Current as of February 2023