Ms Baranwal, who unexpectedly resigned from the DOE on 8 January, two days after the Capitol riots, succeeds Neil Wilmshurst, who was promoted to senior vice-president of energy system resources in November.
At the DOE, Ms Baranwal managed nuclear research for existing and advanced reactors and new designs. She had consistently been a proponent of administration efforts to help develop Generation IV reactor technology. In October 2020 she said the DOE was committed to new nuclear technologies and federal support would help develop a portfolio of new reactors that will ultimately be competitive in both the US and global markets.
Before her DOE role, Ms Baranwal directed the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (Gain) initiative at Idaho National Laboratory.
At the non-profit EPRI, Ms Baranwal will lead a team of more than 200 researchers, scientists, engineers, and technical staff in providing nuclear R&D to more than 80% of the world’s commercial nuclear fleet. The EPRI has members in the US and 40 other countries.