Caltech’s Castañeda Named Director of Human Resources at PNNL

08 Jul 2019

April Castañeda, a senior executive with 20 years of experience leading human resources programs at Caltech and NASA’s Jet propulsion Laboratory, has been named director of Human Resources at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Castañeda joins the Department of Energy laboratory after serving as assistant vice president for Equity and Equity Investigations at Caltech in Pasadena, Calif. In this role, she was responsible for Caltech’s policies and practices related to discrimination and harassment, including overseeing the response, investigation, and resolution of allegations and developing and leading institute-wide education programs and activities in those areas.  

Castañeda previously served as assistant director of Human Resources with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which Caltech manages for NASA, and as the executive director for Human Resources at Caltech. 

In those roles, she was responsible for HR strategy and communications, and for recruiting, employee relations, learning and development, workers compensation, and data management functions. 

At PNNL, Castañeda will lead a team of 70 professionals and direct the laboratory’s compensation and benefits, talent acquisition and university recruiting, diversity, leadership and staff development, labor relations, and other key HR functions.

“April is a valued and respected HR leader known for her strategic thinking and problem solving,” said PNNL Director Steven Ashby. “At PNNL, she will use her organizational skills to help us attract and develop the talent necessary to address some of the greatest scientific questions and technological challenges facing the nation and world today.” 

Castañeda earned a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies and cross-cultural studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a master’s degree in industrial/organizational social work from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory |