Seminar - 05122017

Dr. Emily MeierdingDepartment of the Navy Energy Policy, Budget, Technology and Cultureā€”A Pentagon Journey of Discovery

May 12, 2017
ME Lecture Hall

Mr. Karnig Ohannessian

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Environment)




The bottom line consideration of the Department of the Navy's energy initiatives is: if it's good for the warfighter and readiness, or has a strong business case, we should do it.  Packed in that bottom line is an incredibly complex interplay of policy, budget, technology and culture that evolves over time.  A successful Pentagon program puts these key pieces in place and keeps them working in harmony.  Our robust energy program must meet these challenges by adapting to new information and lessons learned.  As internal and external stakeholder experiences and opinions of the value of energy investments change, navigating the program through the Pentagon becomes an interesting journey of discovery.  We will discuss how the value of Dept. of the Navy energy investments is assessed, what the warfighters and investors think, how policy and oversight mechanisms function, and how practical reality shapes decision-making as the technologies mature and become available to the users.  We will also discuss how the Navy and Marine Corps have made pragmatic progress on energy initiatives, and how we can preserve and build upon that progress in ways that enhance warfighting and readiness or make good business sense.


Karnig Ohannessian was selected Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Environment) in January 2016. He is the principal policy advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations and Environment) on environmental programs including planning, protection, compliance, restoration and pollution prevention, and management of natural and cultural resources for Department of the Navy activities worldwide.

Mr. Ohannessian was selected to the Senior Executive Service in December 2013 as Deputy Director, Chief of Naval Operations Energy and Environmental Readiness Division, where he was the senior civilian responsible for policy and resourcing of four programs affecting Fleet and Shore readiness: energy, environmental, compatibility and sustainability, and radiological controls. From 2003 to 2013 he worked on environmental, base realignment and closure, and shore readiness programs at the installation, region and national levels at Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations and Environment), and Chief of Naval Operations Shore Readiness Division.

Prior to joining the federal civil service, Mr. Ohannessian worked 13 years in the private sector at engineering and consulting companies in Southern California, rising to senior positions including principal engineer and executive officer.

Mr. Ohannessian holds a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley (1990), and a master of business administration degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (2002). He is a registered professional engineer in the State of California as a chemical and civil engineer. He is the recipient of two Department of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Awards.


Dr. Daniel A. Nussbaum
Naval Postgraduate School 
Principal, Energy Academic Group
Monterey CA 93943
Phone: 831-656-2387
Mobile: 831-324-3228

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