Therese M. Leone has been named Chief Laboratory Counsel (CLC) for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, effective July 1. She will be responsible for evaluating and assessing legal and other risks in context of mission objectives, mentoring and leading a team of dedicated legal and regulatory professionals in the Office of the Laboratory Counsel, and serving as a laboratory bellwether of ethical standards.

Leone brings more than 20 years of leadership experience to this position, including as Deputy Campus Counsel for UC Berkeley, and as Vice President and General Counsel for Mills College. In addition, during her tenure in the UC Office of the General Counsel, she served as UC Merced’s first Chief Campus Counsel. She also serves as the chair of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA)’s Board Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusivity. Prior to joining academia, she was in private practice at a national law firm specializing in labor and employment. 

Working in the public interest is a passion of hers and she cares deeply about the mission-driven culture of the Lab. And as a first generation undergraduate herself, she also believes in the transformative power of education. Leone earned her J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law and a B.A. from Northwestern University. 

Reporting to the Berkeley Lab Director, the CLC is also a member of the UC Office of General Counsel and also reports to the UC General Counsel and Vice President of Legal Affairs. 

Berkeley Lab Director Mike Witherell notes: “Ms. Leone has a reputation as an ethical, trusted advisor and leader. She is known as a ‘bridge builder’ for her collaborative approach in establishing relationships with diverse stakeholders. Furthermore, her long-standing active leadership in and commitment to equity and inclusion is extremely important to the Lab as we strive to build the culture and the workforce we need to solve national scientific challenges.”

UC General Counsel and Legal Affairs Vice President Charles Robinson adds: “Therese is a thought leader in her field who helps people see with a bigger lens than they had before. She provides preventative education to campus leaders, the UC system, and colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada on emerging compliance or legal issues. Having known and worked with Therese for more than a decade, I am confident that she will be a tremendous asset to the Berkeley Lab and a valued member of the systemwide UC Legal leadership team.” 

She replaces Chief Laboratory Counsel Jeff Blair, who retires July 1.


Founded in 1931 on the belief that the biggest scientific challenges are best addressed by teams, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and its scientists have been recognized with 14 Nobel Prizes. Today, Berkeley Lab researchers develop sustainable energy and environmental solutions, create useful new materials, advance the frontiers of computing, and probe the mysteries of life, matter, and the universe. Scientists from around the world rely on the Lab’s facilities for their own discovery science. Berkeley Lab is a multiprogram national laboratory, managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit