Reffett Associates Seeks New President for the Naval Postgraduate School

September 14, 2018 – Executive search firm Reffett Associates has been selected by the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) to assist in selecting its next president. The search is being led by Marshall Reffett, managing director of the firm’s Seattle office, with assistance from Thomas Young, director of operations.

“We are pleased to have been selected by the board of advisors to work with the NPS to assist them in their search for a new president,” said William Reffett, another managing partner at the firm. “This is a dynamic graduate education university that has a wonderful reputation in the fields of both basic and applied research, as well as international studies. It is located in a very attractive part of the country. We are confident that we will be able to attract a deep group of educational leaders from the research, scientific, and, education communities.”

The role is a federal government position in the excepted service. The selection for appointment is made by the secretary of the Navy.

The NPS president serves as the senior executive leader responsible for the execution of the school’s mission, which is to provide relevant and unique advanced education and research programs to increase the combat effectiveness of commissioned officers of the Naval Service and to enhance the security of the U.S., said the search firm. The president reports ultimately to the secretary of the Navy and has full responsibility for the leadership, management and governance of the school and its research activities.

Job Requirements

Candidates for the position are required to have either a doctorate degree or a master’s degree, both in a field of study relevant to the mission and function of NPS, said the search firm. The latter is permissible only if the candidate also retired from the military as an officer in a grade not below O-6 or is an active duty officer in a grade not below O-6; and must be from the Navy or the Marine Corps.

Prospects should have a comprehensive understanding of the Department of the Navy, the Department of Defense and joint and combined operations; leadership experience at the senior level in a large and diverse organization; and demonstrated ability to foster and encourage a program of research in order to sustain academic excellence.

NPS asks that candidates also possess strategic-thinking and an outward-looking approach; experience in developing and advancing organizations; strong communication skills with an ability to articulate the NPS strategy and vision to private sector, public sector, and academic partners; and a commitment to ensuring that NPS endures as a preeminent postgraduate research and education institution through relevant research and effective partnerships with the private, government, and academic sectors.


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Located in Monterrey, CA, NPS is a graduate and research-intensive university offering master’s and doctorate degrees in the sciences, business, engineering, and international and security studies. Students include military officers from all U.S. armed services, Department of Defense civilian employees and military officers from over 100 nations. NPS faculty have made fundamental contributions to national security through basic and applied research in traditional academic disciplines and in non-traditional and interdisciplinary areas uniquely designed to serve the defense and national security of the U.S. and its allies.

NPS also advises the Department of Defense and many federal agencies. The school provides experimental and demonstration platforms for meeting a wide variety of exigent military challenges. Research is conducted at both classified and unclassified levels.

Reffett Associates, based in Bellevue, WA, is a nationally recognized executive search firm. The boutique talent provider has extensive experience in retail and consumer packaged goods, private equity, commercial & federal services, government sectors and associations and non-profits. Its team is made up of executives with tangible industry experience, possessing real world, relatable knowledge about the challenges executives face in managing talent in a competitive marketplace.

Marshall Reffett joined the search firm after having worked for U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert of Washington State. Mr. Reffett served as a legislative assistant to the congressman, advising him on legislation relating to financial services, small business, housing, consumer affairs, government oversight & reform, defense, veterans, foreign affairs and transportation. He helped to position the congressman as a leader on global health issues, working with organizations such as UNICEF, Save the Children, and the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign.

Mr. Young brings 13 years of federal legislative, policy and constituent services experience. As district director and counsel for Rep. Reichert, he oversaw constituent services, casework and was the district office policy lead for business, energy, environment and transportation issues. Mr. Young assisted the chief of staff in managing and directing the district office and managed the congressman’s Wenatchee, Washington office. As the lead on a variety of projects and advisory groups for the congressman, including trade, small business, clean technology and maritime, Mr. Young has extensive knowledge of these industries.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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