Mallory Ladd recently started a new role as a scientific analyst for the director of Surface Warfare (N96), within the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations at the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps’ Center for Naval Analyses (CNA), a federally-funded, nonprofit research and analysis organization in Arlington, Va.
Ladd previously specialized in Arctic maritime operations, training and readiness with interests in cyberspace operations and climate security.
Ladd completed her PhD in Energy Science and Engineering with a concentration in analytical chemistry at UT-ORII’s Bredesen Center in 2018 at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Ladd won a prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation in 2014 and developed a top website where program applicants can view examples of past successful essays and suggested best practices.
While completing her graduate studies, she founded “Pipeline: Vols for Women in STEM” that hosted an annual symposium where undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields made presentations about their research at the University of Tennessee and ORNL.
In 2016, she was one of 600 graduate students invited to attend the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau, Bavaria, Germany. There, she networked with other graduate students and a group of Nobel Laureates, and she joined two laureates — 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine winner Harold Varmus, and 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics winner Brian Schmidt — on a panel discussing science communication.
Ladd’s dissertation research focused on developing analytical techniques to characterize the chemistry of permafrost soils in the Arctic. She worked with the Department of Energy’s Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE-Arctic) Project, which allowed her to conduct fieldwork in the Alaskan Arctic, collecting soil and ice cores to bring back to ORNL to run experiments.
“It was my work on climate change and permafrost modeling that led me to cross paths with a retired three-star admiral who happened to be on the board of CNA at the time. We were both invited to speak on climate security at ORNL and got to talking. Within three weeks I was visiting CNA headquarters and a week after that had a job offer.”
In her newest role within the CNA, Ladd said she’s “looking forward to building on and leveraging my recent experiences with The Joint Staff and previous embedded support to strike group commanders as I move over to the Pentagon.”
Ladd lives in the D.C. metro area with her husband, fellow Bredesen Center graduate Tony Bova, who is founder and CEO of mobius (formerly Grow Bioplastics).