Claflin University will confer bachelor’s and master’s degrees to nearly 200 graduating scholars during its Spring 2024 Commencement Convocation.

The convocation will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 4, at the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex. It can be viewed on Facebook Live.

The speaker will be N. Nicole Nelson-Jean, associate administrator for the Office of Infrastructure in the National Nuclear Security Administration and a member of the Federal Senior Executive Service.

In this role, she is responsible for executive leadership to maintain, operate and modernize NNSA’s infrastructure in a safe and effective manner.

This includes more than 5,000 facilities located in seven states comprising over $130 billion in real property assets.

Nelson-Jean oversees programs and construction projects with an annual budget of nearly $6 billion.

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Before returning to NNSA, Nelson-Jean was the associate principal deputy assistant secretary for field operations in the Office of Environment Management. She had overriding responsibility for 15 U.S. sites in the areas of field operations, infrastructure, contract acquisition and administration, project management, safety and security, and the worldwide implementation of the EM technology and development programs for the largest cleanup program in the world, totaling close to $8 billion.

She also oversaw EM’s efforts under the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 Initiative.

Prior to this position, Nelson-Jean served as manager of the NNSA Savannah River Field Office, providing oversight for the management, quality assurance, nonproliferation and national security missions for the Savannah River Site.

Prior to Savanah River Site, Nelson-Jean was also the manager of the Livermore Field Office and the senior advisor to the acting NNSA administrator at the Los Alamos Site Office.

In these roles, she provided executive leadership related to nuclear operations, infrastructure, nuclear safety and security, nonproliferation, business and contract management.

Nelson-Jean served as energy attaché to the U.S. Ambassador of the Mission to International Organizations in Vienna, Austria, where she coordinated and oversaw NNSA support of the International Atomic Energy Agency nuclear security.

She also served as the DOE attaché to the U.S. Ambassador to Japan overseeing NNSA interests in Asia and the Pacific Rim. Other positions held in NNSA include office director with the Global Threat Reduction Initiative and deputy office director in the Material Protection, Control and Accounting Program.

Nelson-Jean began her career at Los Alamos National Laboratory over 32 years ago supporting environmental management and national security missions.

She has been honored with the Department of Energy Career Service Award, the U.S. Distinguished Presidential Rank Award, Partnership for Public Service – Service to America Medal, NNSA Administrator Distinguished Achievement Gold Medal, Savannah River Site Leader of the Year Award and the Department of Energy Pride Award.

Nelson-Jean earned a bachelor’s degree from Grambling State University, and master’s degrees from St. John’s College and National Defense University. Nelson-Jean is an active member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

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