Leigha Witt named ORISE group manager for ORNL office

Jan. 13, 2020

Leigha Witt, group manager for the ORISE office at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Leigha Witt

Leigha Witt has been named group manager for the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education office at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. 

In her role, Witt will provide leadership and development oversight for STEM-based workforce development and education programs averaging up to 2,000 research participants a year and an equal number of mentors. In addition Witt will also represent ORISE at external venues, including professional meetings and site visits with potential and current customers. 

“We’re excited for Leigha to take on this role as she possesses extensive management and stakeholder engagement experience within the communications and human resources sectors,” said ORISE Director Jim Vosburg. “Her addition to the ORISE team will further strengthen the management of our research participation programs by helping to ensure continuity between ORNL and ORISE.”

Prior to joining ORISE, Witt was a human resources manager at UT-Battelle, the managing contractor of ORNL. Prior to that appointment, she was protocol officer and community relations manager at UT-Battelle for 12 years.

“Her nearly 15 years of experience in communications and human resources at ORNL means Leigha has a strong background in building partnerships and hiring the right people for the variety of research experiences available at the lab,” said Craig Layman, ORISE director of workforce development. “She will undoubtedly provide great value to DOE, ORNL and ORISE as we seek to build a sustained pipeline for the STEM workforce. 

Witt is a cum laude graduate of the University of Tennessee with a bachelor’s degree in English. She anticipates completing a master’s of professional studies in human resources leadership from Tennessee Technological University in December 2020.

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The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) asset that is dedicated to enabling critical scientific, research, and health initiatives of the department and its laboratory system by providing world class expertise in STEM workforce development, scientific and technical reviews, and the evaluation of radiation exposure and environmental contamination.

ORISE is managed by ORAU, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, for DOE’s Office of Science. The single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.osti.gov.