Program Manager, Los Alamos National Laboratory
At Los Alamos National Laboratory, Dr. Matthew J. Heavner is a program manager focused on data science applied to answering critical scientific and national security challenges. Dr. Heavner's technical background is geophysics.
From September 2014 to January 2017, Dr. Heavner served as the Assistant Director of Global Security at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Dr. Heavner provided technical leadership on issues related to space in both civilian earth observations and national security space activities. At OSTP, Dr. Heavner focused on a range of nuclear issues including strategic deterrence capabilities, non-proliferation, counter-proliferation, early detection of nuclear proliferation, naval nuclear reactors, civilian nuclear energy, medical isotope production, and the health and sufficiency of the nuclear enterprise. In collaboration with the National Security Council, Dr. Heavner co-chaired several White House restricted Interagency Policy Coordination committees and subcommittees. Dr. Heavner chaired multiple subcommittees of the Committee on Homeland and National Security of the National Science and Technology Council.
From January to July 2017, before returning to New Mexico from his Washington DC assignment, Dr. Heavner worked as the Science Advisor to the Deputy Director of Intelligence Integration at the National Counter Proliferation Center at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Dr. Heavner previously served on the technical staff at Los Alamos National Laboratory as the Project Lead for the On-orbit United States Nuclear Detonation Detection System (USNDS) Radio Frequency (RF) sensors on the Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) constellation. In this role, Dr. Heavner supported mission capability assurance, on-orbit operations, state of health monitoring, and anomaly resolution by providing subject matter expertise from Los Alamos National Laboratory to the United States Air Force in collaboration with Sandia National Laboratories. Expertise in lightning discharge physics, ionospheric propagation, digital signal processing, satellite constellation performance, system requirements, and nuclear weapons source phenomenology are required to provide this national capability. At Los Alamos National Lab, Dr. Heavner also supported several technology demonstration and validation satellite missions.
From 2003-2010, Dr. Heavner was a tenured Professor of Physics at the University of Alaska Southeast with diverse geophysical interests including space physics, subglacial hydrology, distributed sensor web monitoring of partially glaciated watersheds, satellite remote sensing, and optical spectroscopic measurements of middle atmosphere lightning. In 2000, Dr. Heavner earned his PhD in Physics from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and his bachelor degrees in Physics, Mathematics, and Philosophy from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.