Seminar - 110615

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Energy as a Strategic Resource

November 6, 2015
ME Lecture Hall

Mr. Steven Iselin

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy, (Energy, Installations and Environment)



The Department of the Navy values energy as a strategic resource and understands how energy security is fundamental to its mission. Energy security means having assured access to reliable energy supplies and the ability to protect and deliver sufficient energy to meet warfighting and installation needs. Achieving The Secretary of the Navy’s energy goals will increase warfighting capability, both strategically and tactically. Strategically, the objective is to reduce reliance on fossil fuels (including from non-U.S. sources). Tactically, the objective is to provide energy sources available on location, and to increase energy efficiency.  These tactical objectives reduce the vulnerability associated with fuel supply transport lines, and increase operational capability (time on station).

The DoN’s energy strategy is centered on energy security, energy efficiency and sustainability while remaining the pre-eminent maritime power.

  • Energy security is critical to mission success. Energy security safeguards our energy infrastructure and shields the DoN from a volatile energy supply.
  • Energy efficiency increases mission effectiveness. Efficiency improvements minimize operational risks, while saving time, money and lives.
  • Sustainable efforts protect mission capabilities. Investment in environmentally responsible technologies afloat and ashore reduces greenhouse gas emissions and lessens dependence on fossil fuels.

The Nation’s fiscal challenges and emerging understanding of the effects of greenhouse gases on climate change add additional dynamics to the policy challenges and decisions.  Are the renewable or alternative energy solutions affordable compared to traditional solutions?  Does the DoN have the capital resources required to make the required investments?  If not, is it prudent to leverage third party financed solutions to make the investments?  How will the ongoing debate regarding climate change influence the calculus for these decisions?  How does one value the energy security aspect in return on investment calculations?  Do Federal Acquisition Regulations allow timely evaluation and use of emerging technologies to meet today’s challenges?


Mr. Iselin was appointed Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations and Environment) in October 2014. Mr. Iselin participates in the formation and management of Navy and Marine Corps energy, installation and environment policies related to construction management; sustainment, restoration and modernization of facilities; acquisition, utilization and disposal of real property and facilities; environmental protection, planning, restoration and natural resources conservation; and Safety and Occupational Health.

Mr. Iselin retired from the U.S. Navy after 20 years of service in the Civil Engineer Corps. While on active duty he served in a variety of increasingly responsible positions, including: Company Officer in Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Forty; Resident Officer in Charge of Construction, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, N.H.; Accessions Officer at Navy Public Works Center, Great Lakes, Ill.; Planning Officer at Navy Public Works Center, San Diego, Calif.; General Manager of the Pentagon Athletic Club; Deputy Military Construction Officer at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command; Public Works Officer at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nev.; Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Program Manager on the Operations Navy (N44) staff; and Infrastructure Team Leader on the Operations Navy (N81) Planning staff.

In 2000, Mr. Iselin joined the Plexus Scientific Corporation as the Facilities and Infrastructure Program Manager. Several years later, he joined the Civil Service as the first Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Anti-Terrorism and Force Protection Program Manager. He established a solid foundation for that program and in April 2004, was selected for appointment to the Senior Executive Service and named the NAVFAC Assistant Commander for Base Development. Mr. Iselin was a driving force in creating the Navy Ashore Vision 2030, a strategic vision for Navy shore infrastructure that guided BRAC 2005 thinking and future shore investment strategy.

In January 2007, Mr. Iselin was selected as the NAVFAC Chief Engineer, the Command’s senior technical authority for all facilities engineering matters. Shortly thereafter, he was selected to serve as the NAVFAC Executive Director. While serving in the role as the senior civilian advisor to the NAVFAC Commander, he was responsible for leading all aspects of NAVFAC’s business, and for the community management of more than 18,000 NAVFAC employees.

Mr. Iselin holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (1980) from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Science in Management (1986) from the Naval Postgraduate School.  He is a licensed professional engineer in Virginia.


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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