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Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture Executive Leadership Board

Deborah ”Debbie” K. Gracio

Director, Program Development, National Security
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

  • M.S. Electrical Engineering – Washington State University – 1995
  • B.S. Electrical Engineering – Washington State University – 1987

Ms. Gracio joined Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in 1990 and is currently the Director for Program Development in the National Security Directorate. Since joining the laboratory in 1990, Ms. Gracio has led the research, development, and management of multiple cross-disciplinary, multi-laboratory programs focused in the basic sciences and national security sectors. Her work has included research and development of integrated computational environments for biodefense, computational biology, computational chemistry, and atmospheric modeling. As the director of the Data-Intensive Computing research initiative, Ms. Gracio was responsible for building a program that identified PNNL as the leader in addressing the challenges of high-throughput streaming data and multi-source analytics focused on problems in both fundamental science and national security domains.

Since joining the Laboratory, Ms. Gracio has been involved in a variety of programs that have aided in developing a broad technical background in computer systems integration, software engineering, scientific computing, large-scale data management, and data acquisition. From 2006-2014, Ms. Gracio was the director for the Computational and Statistical Analytics Division, with responsibility for leading over 350 staff, supporting research and development activities to serve the National Security missions for the DOE, DOD, DHS and Intelligence Community. From 2003-2006, she was responsible for the Computational Sciences Product Line at PNNL. This portfolio consisted of programs within the DOE, DOD, and Intelligence Community sectors. From 2000 – 2004, Ms. Gracio worked with the leadership of the Biomolecular Systems Initiative to develop a computational biology and bioinformatics portfolio for PNNL. This work has included developing and coordinating a research agenda and roadmap for bridging computational and biological sciences and building enduring collaborations, and business opportunities. From 1995 – 2000, Ms. Gracio was the project lead for the Extensible Computational Chemistry Environment (Ecce), a key capability in the Molecular Sciences Software Suite – the flagship computational chemistry suite for the Department of Energy. From 1990 – 1995, she was responsible for the design, development and management of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Experiment Center, providing observational data streams and computational model results to climate modelers and researchers across the globe.

Ms. Gracio received a R&D 100 Award in 1999 and a Federal Laboratory Consortium Award in 2000 for the Molecular Sciences Software Suite, a software product which is now deployed to institutions worldwide. In 1994, she was recognized by the DOE with a Certificate of Accomplishment for the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program and in 1989 as the DOE Outstanding Woman in Engineering. Ms. Gracio is a Senior Member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers and served on the IEEE Information Systems Strategy Council, a board level position. Ms. Gracio serves on the executive advisory board for the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture and the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Washington State University, a member of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Emerging Analytics Center Data Science Advisory Board, and is a member of the Columbia Basin College Foundation board. She also serves as the Executive Vice President for the Tri-Cities Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors in Richland, WA.

Deborah Gracio