Press Releases

Executive Appointments at URA





Washington, DC, January 7, 2019 Universities Research Association (URA) is pleased to announce the appointment of two outstanding individuals to fill new senior positions:  Mr. Ted Wackler, Deputy Executive Director of URA, and Dr. Ian Anderson, Director of the URA Sandia Site Office in Albuquerque, NM.

Ted M. Wackler, Deputy Executive Director and Secretary

URA welcomes Mr. Ted Wackler (P.E.) as its new Deputy Executive Director.  Mr. Wackler most recently served at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in several senior roles including Chief of Staff and Acting Director.  At OSTP, working with the Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and other White House and Departmental leadership, he provided direction on the full spectrum of national-level science and technology policy activities and was responsible for all administrative functions of OSTP. Prior to OSTP Mr. Wackler was the Executive Director of the Intelligence Science Board, and a senior engineer at The MITRE Corporation.  His career began as a naval flight officer, with operational tours in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. A licensed professional engineer, he has degrees from the University of Maryland and the University of Oklahoma in aerospace engineering and civil engineering.

“I am excited to join URA and its leadership team,” said Mr. Wackler.  “The National Labs take on some of the most important scientific and technological challenges of our time, and it will be a privilege to work with URA, Fermilab, and Sandia, with their rich history of accomplishments, to help them fulfill their important missions.”

As Deputy Executive Director and an Officer of URA, Mr. Wackler will assist the Executive Director in the oversight and implementation of URA’s responsibilities at Fermilab and Sandia and in the effective operation and management of URA’s financial, human, and physical resources.  He will also provide leadership in the formulation of URA policy and strategy.

“We are especially pleased to have Ted join URA in this important capacity,” said Marta Cehelsky, Executive Director of URA.  “He is well known and highly respected by policy leaders and his many colleagues in the Federal government, universities, and industry and is familiar with the national laboratories and the challenges they face.”


Ian Anderson, Director URA Sandia Site Office

URA also welcomes Dr. Ian Anderson as the Director of the new URA Sandia Site Office in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Dr. Anderson was most recently Director of the University Partnerships and Graduate Education Programs at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and previously Associate Laboratory Director for Neutron Sciences overseeing the operation and scientific activity of the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) and the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR).  Earlier Dr. Anderson led the Experimental Facilities Division and the Neutron Scattering Science Division at ORNL and the Neutron Optics Laboratory at the Institut Laue-Langevin in Grenoble, France.

He earned Ph.D. and M.Sc. degrees in physics from Birmingham University and B.A. and M.A. degrees in natural sciences from Cambridge University, England.

“It is a tremendous opportunity to lead a new venture, establishing the URA Site Office at Sandia,” said Dr. Anderson, “and a privilege to work at Sandia Laboratories and be part of its vital mission.”

As the inaugural director of the new URA office in Albuquerque, in collaboration with the science and engineering leadership team at Sandia, Dr. Anderson is responsible for implementing URA’s commitment to furthering scientific excellence at Sandia and strengthening collaboration between Sandia and the university community.

Marta Cehelsky stated, “We are very fortunate to have Ian assume this important new role as Director of the URA Sandia Site Office.  He brings impressive scientific credentials, a familiarity with the DOE national laboratory environment, and extensive experience in working with universities to enable collaborations beneficial both to a national laboratory and to universities.”

URA has been the DOE contractor for the management and operation of Fermilab since 1967, a responsibility it has shared with the University of Chicago since 2007 through the Fermi Research Alliance, LLC (FRA).  URA is also a member of the Honeywell-led team, National Technology and Engineering Solutions for Sandia (NTESS), awarded the DOE/NNSA contract in 2016 for the operation of the Sandia National Laboratories.  Additionally, URA serves as the PI institution for the NSF award supporting US participation in the operation of the 15-country Pierre Auger cosmic ray observatory in Argentina.