Edward McGaffigan, Jr.

(Photo of Commissioner Edward McGaffigan, Jr.)

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The biographies for all of the former Commissioners in this section are the official ones they used during their Commission terms.

The Honorable Edward McGaffigan, Jr., is the longest serving Commissioner in NRC's history. He was appointed twice by President Clinton in 1996 and 2000, and most recently by President Bush in 2005. He has over 31 years of Federal service. Throughout his tenure on the Commission he has focused on improving the effectiveness and efficiency of a wide range of NRC processes, while simultaneously expanding public access to information. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Commissioner McGaffigan helped design an enhanced security posture for NRC reactor and materials licensees. He has testified before Congressional committees on safety and security matters more than 20 times. He has received NRC's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, the American Nuclear Society's (ANS's) Distinguished Public Service Award, and the joint ANS-Nuclear Energy Institute Henry DeWolf Smyth Nuclear Statesman Award.

Prior to his first appointment to the Commission, from 1983 to 1996, Mr. McGaffigan served on the staff of Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM). He supported the Senator's work on defense policy, technology policy, personnel and acquisition reform, and nonproliferation and export control policy. He authored numerous statutory provisions in these areas.

Mr. McGaffigan was a member of the Foreign Service from 1976 to 1983. From 1981 to 1983 he served in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he oversaw international scientific cooperation and export control matters. During much of this time, he held a dual appointment on the staff of the National Security Council. Previously, Mr. McGaffigan carried out various assignments within the State Department dealing with U.S.-Soviet relations and nuclear non-proliferation issues. He was stationed in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow from 1978 to 1980, where he reported on Soviet energy and atomic energy developments.

Before joining the Foreign Service, Mr. McGaffigan worked on evaluating Japanese research at the RAND Corporation and on strategic arms control issues at the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.

Mr. McGaffigan was valedictorian of his graduating class at Boston Latin School. In 1970 he received his bachelor's degree (summa cum laude) in physics from Harvard. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa his junior year. He holds master's degrees in physics from California Institute of Technology (1974) and public policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government (1976). He won numerous fellowships during his academic career, including a Sheldon Travelling Fellowship, a National Science Foundation Fellowship and a Harvard National Graduate Fellowship.

Mr. McGaffigan enjoys running, and has completed six Marine Corps marathons and one JFK 50 Miler.

June 2007

Note: When Commissioner McGaffigan passed away while in office on September 2, 2007, he was the NRC's longest serving Commissioner, a distinction currently held by former Chairman Kristine Svinicki.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, January 11, 2022