Electrical engineering alum James F. “Hondo” Geurts ’87 has been designated as Performing the Duties of (PTDO) Under Secretary of the Navy by Thomas Harker, Acting Secretary of the Navy, according to a February 2021 press release

In addition to serving as the deputy and principal assistant to the Secretary of the Navy, Geurts will serve as the chief operating officer and chief management officer for the Department of the Navy. Additionally, he will oversee intelligence activities, intelligence-related activities, special access programs, critical infrastructure, and sensitive activities within the department.

“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,” Geurts said.

Prior to this selection, Geurts served as the 8th Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, from December 2017 to January 2021. In that role, 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.”

Geurts is a distinguished Reserve Officers’ Training Corps graduate of Lehigh. He also holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Air Force of Institute Technology and has completed programs of executive leadership and international studies at Harvard Kennedy School and George Washington Elliot.

James F. Geurts

Electrical engineering and ROTC alum James F. Geurts is now performing the duties of the Under Secretary of the Navy. (Credit: U.S. Navy)