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Melvin G. Williams Jr., Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy (retired), served as the Associate Deputy Secretary of Energy until February 2013. As a Presidential Appointee at the U.S. Department of Energy, he served as the key leader responsible for the Department’s management and operational excellence. He reported directly to the Secretary of Energy and the Deputy Secretary, and drove improvements in mission execution and assured that they were efficiently and effectively implemented throughout the Department.
A nuclear trained submariner, he served in the U.S. Navy for thirty-two years as a commissioned officer and one year as an enlisted sailor.
His extensive operational assignments included four Command opportunities, including Commander of U.S. Second Fleet (130 ships and over 90,000 sailors and marines) which responded with humanitarian assistance and disaster relief following the devastating earthquake in Haiti in January 2010, Commander of Submarine Group Nine (12 submarines and over 4,000 sailors), Commander of Submarine Squadron Four (6 submarines and crews), and Commanding Officer of USS Nebraska (SSBN-739, Gold crew) - an OHIO class Strategic Ballistic Missile submarine which was selected as the Top Strategic Mission Performer in the Nation.
Other key operational assignments included Deputy Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces, Director of Global Operations at U.S. Strategic Command, Chief of Staff for the KITTY HAWK Carrier Strike Group during initial combat operations of Operation Enduring Freedom following the 9/11/2001 attacks on our Nation, and Executive Officer on USS LOUISVILLE during initial combat operations in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm.
Mel Williams is a 1978 graduate with merit from the U.S. Naval Academy (Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics), holds a Master of Science degree in Engineering from Catholic University, and attended Harvard’s JFK School of Government (National and International Security).
He has various military awards, and his civic recognitions include the Catholic University of America 2012 Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award, the Black Engineer of the Year Award for Professional Achievement as well as induction into the STEM Hall of Fame in 2011, the National Society of Black Engineers Award for Lifetime Achievement in Government, and the Thurgood Marshall Award for Service and Leadership.
He is the co-author (with Father) of the leadership book, Navigating the Seven Seas, which in 2012 was designated by the U.S. Navy as one of the 18 books determined to be “essential reading” for all members who serve in the Navy.