Director General


Sama Bilbao y León became Director General of World Nuclear Association in October 2020.

World Nuclear Association is the international organization that represents the global nuclear industry. In this role, Sama leads a team of experts, analysts and communicators working to enable the growth of the global nuclear sector by connecting players across the nuclear value chain, shaping and representing the industry’s position in key world forums, providing authoritative information and influencing key audiences, organizations and media. Sama is also President of World Nuclear University, dedicated to inspire and develop the future leaders of the global nuclear industry.

Sama has more than 20 years of experience in nuclear engineering and energy policy. Sama has a very diverse professional experience having worked in the nuclear industry (Nuclear Safety Analysis Engineer, Dominion Energy, USA), in academia (Director of Nuclear Engineering Programs and Associate Professor at the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), USA) and in international organisations (Head of the Division of Nuclear Technology Development and Economics at the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), Head of the Technical Secretariat for the Generation IV International Forum (GIF), Head of Water Cooled Reactors Technology Development Unit, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)).

Sama, who is originally from Spain, holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s degree in Energy Technologies from the Polytechnic University of Madrid; a master's degree and a PhD in Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison; and an MBA from Averett University. Sama is one of the seven founders of the North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NA-YGN). Sama’s areas of expertise are nuclear thermal-hydraulics for both light water reactors and sodium cooled reactors, nuclear reactor design, nuclear safety, energy and environmental policy, and complex decision making.


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