Dina Christie

“When I tell people I work at PPPL, I have a sense of pride. It is an honor and pleasure to support the Emergency Services Unit. That’s where my true passion is."

— Dina Christie

Title & Department: Head of Site Protection, Environment, Safety & Health 

Year started at PPPL: 2014

Originally published in July 2021


Dina Christie took many career paths before the one that led to her current position heading PPPL’s Site Protection Office

Dina Christie was a professional dancer, a small business owner, a personal trainer and a financial analyst before coming to the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) in 2014. She quickly rose from an administrative assistant to a program manager who played a major role in the day-to-day operations of the division. Now, she is the head of the Site Protection Division at the U.S. Department of Energy’s PPPL.

Christie grew up in Wayne, Pennsylvania, and has had a variety of professions. She was a professional dancer for eight years with the Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago company. After her career dancing, she worked her way through Drexel University as a veterinary technician. Christie majored in accounting and management information services, graduating summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA.

She held jobs in information management and accounting at several companies, including as a compliance manager and training coordinator for the Home Loan Direct Compliance Division of the Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corp. in Columbus, Ohio. Shortly after moving to Princeton from New York, Christie began her own baked goods catering company, Princeton Pies, which she ran out of her home. She has also taught dance at a local dance studio and worked as a personal trainer for New York Sports Club, where she was also a sales representative and account manager.

Christie joined PPPL as an administrative assistant in the Site Protection Division and became the program manager in 2015. She became head of the Site Protection Division in 2019, overseeing the 18 members of PPPL's Emergency Services Unit (ESU), comprised of captains, lieutenants and officers, all trained in emergency medical services, firefighting and rescue.

Please describe your job:

“I provide support and serve as a sounding board for the ESU leadership to help them do their jobs as firefighters, emergency medical technicians and security guards. I’m a conduit between PPPL and the U.S. Department of Energy’s needs and emergency responders. I love my job because of the people I work with. I am in awe of every single member of the ESU because of their constant high level of performance. I am nothing without those guys.”

Three things about yourself:

  1. I am the youngest and only girl in my family. I have four older brothers, the youngest is 10 years older than me.
  2. I still teach dance. I was a professional dancer, so I’m still teaching dance in the area.
  3. I make the best key lime pie that anyone will ever have.

What does working at PPPL mean to you?

“PPPL is an excellent place to work, it’s an excellent place to visit and it’s an excellent place to walk into every day. For me to be able to walk into that building, to have a purpose and to help in any way is an honor. When I tell people I work at PPPL, I have a sense of pride.”

“It is an honor and pleasure to support the Emergency Services Unit. That’s where my true passion is.”