Tamara D. Powell


Tamara D. Powell, Prince George’s County native and Eleanor Roosevelt High School graduate, is a trailblazer and role model for aspiring female engineers. She was the first African-American to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Maryland. She also holds a graduate certificate in nuclear criticality safety from the University of Tennessee.

Tamara has worked at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for sixteen years in a number of highly technical and mission critical positions. As a Nuclear Process Engineer, she reviewed nuclear criticality safety programs and conducted inspections at NRC-licensed fuel cycle facilities that convert, enrich, and fabricate uranium into fuel for use in nuclear reactors in commercial and military applications. She was the first female, and first African-American, to earn NRC qualification in this area. In her most recent position as an Allegation Specialist, she formulates policy, develops procedural guidance for reviewing nuclear safety concerns reported to the agency from external sources, and assesses how effectively the NRC evaluates these concerns.

Tamara strives to make a difference in her local community through tutoring, mentoring, and as a member of the Junior League of Washington. She has guest lectured at Howard University, presenting seminars on nuclear criticality safety, to inspire young engineers to pursue careers in the nuclear industry. Ms. Powell has also been a member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) for over twenty years and was instrumental in chartering a professional chapter of NSBE at the NRC.