Rhonda Zurn, College of Science and Engineering,, (612) 626-7959

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (01/28/2014)—Cynthia D. Pederson (ChemE ’83) has been named the new administrator of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)’s Region III office in Lisle, Ill.

Region III is responsible for regulating 15 commercial nuclear power plants and more than 1,200 materials licensees in seven Midwestern states. Pederson is the agency’s first woman regional administrator and will oversee a staff of about 225 employees.

After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in chemical engineering, Pederson joined the NRC in 1983 as a resident inspector at the Dresden nuclear plant in Morris, Ill., where she inspected nuclear plant performance.

Since then, Pederson has held a number of positions at the agency. In 1994, she was promoted to a Senior Executive Service position as Deputy Director of the Division of Reactor Safety. She has also led the region’s major technical Divisions of Reactor Projects and Nuclear Materials Safety.

Pederson is a recipient of the Presidential Meritorious Rank Award, which honors high-performing senior government employees for sustained extraordinary accomplishment.

Throughout her career, Pederson has worked to support awareness of the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in education. In her new position, she plans to continue to foster interest and encourage students in these fields.

Pederson officially assumed her new position on Aug. 12.