General Lab Information

Noel Blackburn

Chief Diversity Officer, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Noel Blackburn

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Bldg. 400B, Room 16
P.O. Box 5000
Upton, NY 11973-5000

(631) 344-2890

Preferred Gender Pronouns (PGPs): Him, He, His

Noel Blackburn is the Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Officer at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory. Blackburn oversees the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office, which supports Brookhaven's mission to deliver expertise and capabilities that drive scientific breakthroughs and innovation. The office works with members of the Lab community to foster an environment in which all people are welcomed, respected, and valued for the diverse perspectives they provide.

Previously, Blackburn managed university programs and DOE internships in the Lab's Office of Educational Programs, which he joined in 2004. He was responsible for an annual budget of $4.3 million to design, implement, and manage workforce development programs for undergraduates, graduate students, and university faculty.

Blackburn had a leading role in helping Brookhaven establish and strengthen relationships with more than 75 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority-serving institutions (MSIs). Under his leadership, college-level internship participation at Brookhaven grew exponentially and, in the most recent 10 years, has averaged 45 percent women and 38 percent underrepresented minorities (URMs) in science. He created opportunities for underrepresented groups to access Brookhaven and other DOE national laboratories through programs such as the Interdisciplinary Consortium for Research and Educational Access in Science and Engineering (InCREASE).

An engineer by training, Blackburn arrived at Brookhaven in 1999. He was a project engineer for the Peconic River Remediation Project. He also served as a field engineer for groundwater and soil remediation projects before shifting his focus to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education programs.

Blackburn received numerous awards, including Long Island Business News' Diversity in Business Award, the DOE Outstanding Mentor Award, a Brookhaven pinnacle award, and the Minority Access National Role Model Award.

Expertise | Education | Appointments | Publications | Awards | Certifications


  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Stakeholder Relations
  • National and International STEM Collaborations
  • STEM Workforce Development
  • Project Management
  • Proposal Writing
  • Grant Award Management


The City College of New York - CUNY, ME in Environmental Engineering, 1994

The City College of New York - CUNY, Masters of Engineering Citation, 1994

 The City College of New York - CUNY, BE in Civil Engineering, 1991

Professional Appointments

Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, BNL, 2021 - Present

Manager, University Relations and DOE Internship Programs, BNL, 2012 - 2021

Educational Programs Administrator, BNL, 2004 - 2011

Adjunct Lecturer, CUNY - Medgar Evers College, 2005 - 2007

Environmental Project Engineer, BNL, 2001 - 2004

Environmental Field Engineer, BNL, 1999 - 2001

Office/Environmental/Field Engineer, Bechtel International, Inc., 1997 - 1998

Member of the following Advisory Committees:

  • Louis Stokes IM STEM Center External Advisory Board
  • ORISE Distinguished Scientist Advisory Board
  • Navajo Technical University Environmental Engineering Board of Advisors
  • Washington/Baltimore/Hampton Roads LSAMP Board of Governors
  • University of Puerto Rico LSAMP External Advisory Board

Selected Publications

  • Okwan P, Zhen Y, Feng H, Yoo S, Kambhampati MS, Walker A, Boykin S, Omojola J, Blackburn N (2020) Statistical Analysis of Nutrient Loads from the Mississippi-Atchafalaya River Basin (MARB) to the Gulf of Mexico. Environments 7:8. doi: 10.3390/environments7010008
  • Blake RA, Liou-Mark J, Blackburn N, Chan C, Yuen-Lau L (2015) Engaging Undergraduates in the New York City S-SAFE Internship Program: An Impetus to Raise Geoscience Awareness. Journal of Geoscience Education 63:176–184. doi: 10.5408/14-040.1
  • Sheppard E, Knotts C, Blackburn N (2013) INCREASE-ing Access to DOE Laboratory User Facilities. Synchrotron Radiation News 26:13–15. doi: 10.1080/08940886.2013.753774

Awards & Recognition

  • 2021 Adelphi University - STEP/CSTEP Distinguished Recognition for Diversity Support
  • 2019 Diversity in Business Award, The Long Island Business News, 2019
  • Outstanding Service Awards, New York State - Association of Program Administrators for CSTEP and STEP (APACS), 2018
  • The Outstanding Commitment to the Black Male Initiative and Honors Scholars Program Award, CUNY – New York City College of Technology, 2014
  • Dean’s Award, CUNY – Medgar Evers College, 2014
  • The Brookhaven Award, Brookhaven National Laboratory, 2011
  • Outstanding Mentor Award, U.S. Department of Energy, 2010
  • National Role Model Award, Minority Access Inc., 2009
  • Brookhaven Spotlight Award, Brookhaven National Laboratory, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005


Blackburn received in 2021 an Advanced Diversity and Inclusion Certificate from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University.

Noel Blackburn

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Bldg. 400B, Room 16
P.O. Box 5000
Upton, NY 11973-5000

(631) 344-2890

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