Honorable Nickolas Guertin (Invited)

Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition)
US Department of Defense

The Honorable Nickolas H. Guertin was sworn in as Director, Operational Test and Evaluation on December 20, 2021. A Presidential appointee confirmed by the United States Senate, he serves as the senior advisor to the Secretary of Defense on operational and live fire test and evaluation of Department of Defense weapon systems.

Mr. Guertin has an extensive four-decade combined military and civilian career in submarine operations, ship construction and maintenance, development and testing of weapons, sensors, combat management products including the improvement of systems engineering, and defense acquisition. Most recently, he has performed applied research for government and academia in software-reliant and cyber-physical systems at Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute.

Over his career, he has been in leadership of organizational transformation, improving competition, application of modular open system approaches, as well as prototyping and experimentation. He has also researched and published extensively on software-reliant system design, testing and acquisition. He received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington and an MBA from Bryant University. He is a retired Navy Reserve Engineering Duty Officer, was Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) certified in Program Management and Engineering, and is also a registered Professional Engineer (Mechanical).

Mr. Guertin is involved with his community as an Assistant Scoutmaster and Merit Badge Counselor for two local Scouts BSA troops as well as being an avid amateur musician. He is a native of Connecticut and now resides in Virginia with his wife and twin children.