Kirkland Donald Elected Chairman of Battelle’s Board of Directors

Headshot of Kirkland Donald

Former Chairman John Welch Retiring After 21 Years of Service

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Nov. 15, 2022)—Admiral Kirkland “Kirk” Donald, U.S. Navy (retired) and member of Battelle’s Board of Directors since 2015, was elected Chairman of the Battelle Board, effective immediately. Battelle, the world’s leading independent research and development organization, serves government and commercial customers in the areas of national security, energy, health and the environment.

Donald joined the Battelle Board of Directors following a 37-year career with the U.S. Navy. He retired in 2013 as Director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. Previously, he served as commander of Naval Submarine Forces; Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; Allied Submarine Command; and Task Forces 84 and 144. After retiring from the Navy, he was chief operating officer and then chief executive officer of Systems Planning and Analysis, Inc.

He serves as chairman of the board of Huntington Ingalls Industries. He also serves on the boards of Entergy Corporation, Centrus Energy, CyberCore Technologies and the Naval Submarine League.

Donald earned a bachelor’s degree in Ocean Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, and he completed Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government Senior Executive Fellows Program.

“Kirk’s deep knowledge and keen insight into military and energy technology has been a tremendous asset to Battelle and he will be an effective and valued leader of our Board as we move into the future,” said Battelle President and CEO Lou Von Thaer.

“I’m honored that my colleagues have elected me to lead the Board of Directors,” Donald said. “I hope to continue contributing to Battelle’s storied legacy of solving problems of great importance to the world.”

John Welch will retire from the Board after 21 years of service, ten of those years as Board Chairman.

“We thank John for his many contributions to our organization through his distinguished leadership,” Von Thaer said. “His impact on the strength of our business and its success is well documented and greatly appreciated.”

About Battelle
Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national security, health and life sciences, and energy and environmental industries. For more information, visit  


Nov 15, 2022


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