Glenn Podonsky has led the Office of Health, Safety and Security since its creation in 2006. Podonsky has a knack for taking over new DOE offices that are the product of other energy offices merging together. He was director of the Office of Independent Oversight and Performance Assurance (OA) when it was merged with the Office of Security in 2004, creating the Office of Security and Safety Performance Assurance (SSA). Podonsky directed the newly formed SSA until was combined with the Office of Environment, Safety and Health in 2006, creating the Office of Health, Safety and Security.
The son of a security specialist, Podonsky’s background is in intelligence and security work. On Ohio State University’s Program for International and Homeland Security web page, a 2003 Congressional Quarterly report was cited about a security lapse at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). In the citation Podonsky was identified as a “veteran intelligence specialist” who led an investigative team of National Nuclear Security Administration officials looking into the loss of security keys and access cards at LLNL. In 1994, Podonsky was in charge of records retrieval in the search for material relating to dubious radiation experiments conducted during the 1940s.
While head of OA, Podonsky oversaw the creation of DOE’s elite commando unit, the Composite Adversary Team (CAT). Described as the “cream-of-the-crop of DOE’s security guards,” CAT was charged with protecting the nation’s nuclear weapons facilities. The unit took the place of military special operations forces, such as Army Rangers, Navy SEALs and Delta Force, that used to be responsible for responding to an attack on highly-sensitive DOE sites.