Leadership - Executive Director

Brian J. Persons
Executive Director, Naval Sea Systems Command

Executive Director Brian J. PersonsAfter graduating from Michigan State University in June 1981 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering, Mr. Persons began his professional career at NAVSEA as a GS-7 Naval Architect in the Design Division at Long Beach Naval Shipyard. There he worked on numerous surface ship overhauls including the reactivation of the battleships USS NEW JERSEY (BB 62) and USS MISSOURI (BB 63), restoration repairs to the missile damaged USS STARK (FFG 31) and was a member of the voyage repair team sent to the Persian Gulf assess and repair the mine-damaged USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS (FFG 58).

He was selected in 1989 to the NAVSEA Commander’s Development Program and performed various developmental rotational assignments and training opportunities that culminated in him being selected as the Director of Maintenance and Modernization position for the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, and Acquisition.

In 1996, Mr. Persons returned to NAVSEA as the Assistant Program Manager for CVN 77 and was subsequently selected to be the first Deputy Program Manager for the Future Aircraft Carrier Program Office (PMS 378). In February 2000, Mr. Persons was appointed to the Senior Executive Service and was selected as the Executive Director for the Program Executive Office, Aircraft Carriers where he was the Senior Civilian Official responsible and accountable for a program portfolio of $40B and all aspects of future aircraft carrier platform development and the material combat readiness of the in-service aircraft carrier fleet for the U.S. Navy.

In 2006, Mr. Persons selected as the Executive Director for Naval Systems Engineering Directorate at NAVSEA where he was the Senior Civilian Chief Engineer and Chief Technology Officer. In this capacity, he was responsible for implementing technical authority for all research, development, technology transition, design, engineering and certification efforts for surface ships, submarines and aircraft carriers and their sub-systems of the United States Navy. He was also the leader of the Research and Systems Engineering Competency at NAVSEA where he was responsible for developing and maintaining standards, processes, policies, workload forecasting and career management guidance for a national workforce of over 20,000 scientists and engineers.

Mr. Persons is currently the Executive Director of NAVSEA, where he is the senior civilian of the Navy’s largest Systems Command with direct responsibility for a professional and industrial workforce of over 53,000 and an annual operating budget of $30 billion.

Mr. Persons has a Master of Science degree in Technology Management from the University of Maryland. He is DAWIA Level III certified in Program Management and was awarded a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt from Virginia Polytechnic University. Mr. Persons has received numerous awards over his career that included two Navy Superior Civilian Service Medals and the Senior Executive Service Meritorious Presidential Rank Award in 2004 and the Senior Executive Distinguished Presidential Rank Award in 2008.

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