Lab Leadership Corner

Berkeley Lab Launches New Financial System
A Note from Director Paul Alivisatos to the Berkeley Lab Community
Video: Chief Operating Officer on Preparing for F$M

Letter from the Director: F$M Phase 1 Kickoff

Berkeley Lab Launches New Financial System

October 2, 2014

Paul AlivisatosDear Colleagues,

I am thrilled to announce that yesterday afternoon, we went live with the Lab’s new financial system. This represents a significant milestone in making our business processes and information systems more efficient and effective, and the Financial Systems Modernization Team deserves our heartfelt appreciation for their hard work and dedication to this project.

A few weeks ago I was given a sneak preview of the system, and was pleased to find significantly increased functionality.  Most impressive of the features were the new ways to view project budgets and PI resources.  I’m sure this system will help all of us to better manage project finances, equipment and travel expenses, and a variety of other reports. 

This month we will all begin to use this new system to manage resources for Fiscal Year 2015 and beyond. The F$M Team has set up wide variety of online training courses to help everyone make the best use of the new system, and I encourage you to take advantage of these resources to get the most out of this investment.

As with any major software release, some bugs will emerge in the early days of rollout, despite extensive testing.  We will work through these issues through F$M’s comprehensive support framework, and by all of us being engaged and working constructively together.  This will be a valuable step in making the lab more efficient and effective so that we can achieve our important science and energy mission.

Warm regards,

A. Paul Alivisatos
Director, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Samsung Distinguished Professor of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, University of California, Berkeley
Director, Kavli Energy NanoSciences Institute at Berkeley

A Note from Director Paul Alivisatos to the Berkeley Lab Community

AUGUST 11, 2014


Dear Lab Community,

For me, the best thing about working at Berkeley Lab is the Lab community. The spirit of collaboration and standards of excellence that I find here everyday are both inspiring and humbling. But sometimes we can lose sight of this key quality of the Lab, and forget that it needs all of us to continually support it, especially during times of growth and development. We are about to enter such a time, and I am asking for your support to make this transition as smooth as possible. Read more >>

Video: Chief Operating Officer on Preparing for F$M

JULY 24, 2014

Letter from the Director: F$M Phase 1 Kickoff - 2011

Dear CFO Staff,

As you know, one of the Laboratory’s five strategic goals is safe and efficient operations.  I expect the Financial Systems Modernization (FSM) project to make important contributions toward this goal. The FSM project offers us a unique opportunity to strengthen support to our scientific mission by re-engineering the Lab’s financial business processes and systems. 

The FSM project has reached a pivotal point at which we have committed significant financial resources and talent to initiate Phase 1 of the project. Phase 1 will focus on defining the problems; evaluating business processes; identifying solutions and a roadmap for the next phase; building a solid business case for change; and securing the resources, staffing and funding necessary to move to Phase 2, project implementation. Many of you have been involved in the preliminary work to define the FSM effort, under the strong sponsorship and leadership of Jeffrey Fernandez and Minh Huebner. 

I believe this effort will require a commitment to change from the entire Laboratory, along with active participation and collaboration across the Lab. In recognition of this, I will serve as the project’s sponsor.  I have named Kim Williams as the Project Leader for Phase 1, reporting to me. Kim’s extensive experience bridges financial, business and scientific division operations at the Lab and other organizations.  This experience, combined with the trust Kim has earned from scientific and operations divisions, will be invaluable to the project. 

The talent and capability of our staff and leadership across the Lab will be essential to this project’s success.  Kim will work closely with a Steering Committee chaired by Jim Krupnick, with representation from the scientific and operations units of the Laboratory, including Horst Simon, Jeffrey Fernandez and Rosio Alvarez.  Kim has named Minh Huebner to be the Project Manager for the project. Minh brings to the project deep subject matter expertise along with strong project management capabilities, and will be a tremendous asset. 

I want to thank Jeffrey, Minh, the FSM project team and all who have participated for the substantial progress to date.  The project team led by Minh included Rachelle Jeppson, Mark Dedlow, Chuck Axthelm and Cindy Ehsan, with input from Kim Williams. Without this effort, we would not be ready to take this essential next step to re-engineering our business/financial processes and systems. 

I ask that all of you work collaboratively with Kim, Minh, and the team as they move forward on this important project. More information about the project organization and next steps will be shared shortly. 


A. Paul Alivisatos

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Larry and Diane Bock Professor of Nanotechnology
University of California, Berkeley