Acting Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Thomas Harker has designated James F. “Hondo” Geurts as Performing the Duties of Under Secretary of the Navy Feb. 4.
Prior to this selection, Geurts served as the 8th Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition (ASN RD&A), from December 2017 to January 2021. As ASN RD&A, he served as the Navy’s acquisition executive, with oversight of an annual budget in excess of $100 billion and responsible for equipping Sailors and Marines with platforms, systems and technologies around the globe in defense of the nation.
“I’ve worked with Hondo for a number of years and know he will bring a wealth of insight and leadership derived from 34 years of DoD experience to this position,” said Harker. “His stellar knowledge of acquisition efforts, experience driving positive change, and commitment to naval innovation will be a strong asset in this position, where he will continue to reinforce a clear understanding of the needs, requirements and capabilities of our Navy and Marine Corps.”
In performing the duties of the Under Secretary of the Navy, in addition to serving as the deputy and principal assistant to the SECNAV, Geurts will serve as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Management Officer for the DoN. Additionally, he will oversee intelligence activities, intelligence-related activities, special access programs, critical infrastructure, and sensitive activities within the department.
“Having supported the military, both in and out of uniform, for the majority of my life, I know that when we are empowered and focused on the mission we can accomplish amazing things,” said Geurts. “I look forward to continuing to work with a great team of professionals as we spearhead efforts in support of the finest Navy and Marine Corps in the world.”
Mr. Geurts previously served as the Acquisition Executive, U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), at MacDill Air Force Base (AFB), Florida, where he was responsible for all special operations forces acquisition, technology and logistics. Prior to being selected for Senior Executive Service, Geurts began his career as an Air Force officer. He served as an acquisition program manager with engineering and program management leadership positions in numerous weapon systems, including intercontinental ballistic missiles, surveillance platforms, tactical fighter aircraft, advanced avionics systems, stealth cruise missiles, training systems and manned and unmanned special operations aircraft.
He has over 30 years of joint acquisition experience and served in all levels of acquisition leadership positions including Acquisition Executive, Program Executive Officer and Program Manager of Major Defense Acquisition Programs.
Geurts is a distinguished 1987 Reserve Officers’ Training Corps graduate from Lehigh University where he received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He holds a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB and in National Security Resourcing from Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, Washington, D.C. Geurts also attended executive leadership and international studies programs at Harvard Kennedy School and George Washington Elliot School.
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