J. E. “Jack” Surash became the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Energy & Sustainability) in September 2016. In this position, he is responsible for overall program direction, establishment of policies, development and refinement of strategies, and oversight for implementation of all programs and initiatives related to energy security and sustainability within the Army. As the Army's Senior Energy Executive, Mr. Surash coordinates and integrates both installation (traditional as well as expeditionary) and operational energy programs and strategies.
Mr. Surash comes to the Pentagon from duties as the Senior Project Management Advisor at the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM). Prior to that, he was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Acquisition and Project Management. In that position, he led efforts for EM’s $6 billion per year portfolio, served as EM’s Head of Contracting Activity, oversaw procurement planning, contract management, and provided project management support. A native of Charlotte, North Carolina and raised in Rochester, New York, Mr. Surash has served the nation in key positions around the world.
Mr. Surash joined the Department of Energy as a member of the Senior Executive Service in 2005 as Director, Office of Infrastructure and Facilities Management at the National Nuclear Security Administration. He was also the Business Development Manager for Johnson Controls Inc., a Fortune 100 company, and Chief Business Officer for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the 4th largest K-12 public school district in the U.S., where he was responsible for facilities planning, design and construction, maintenance, food service, and school bus transportation.
During a 27 year distinguished Navy career, Mr. Surash served in a broad range of increasingly responsible facilities management, design, construction, contracting, and “Seabee” (Construction Battalion) assignments around the world. He commanded Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Seven and Navy Public Works Center San Diego. In an earlier assignment, he led a Seabee detail that supported the Army’s 3rd Battalion 319th Field Artillery Regiment, in Honduras during Operation Ahuas Tara II. Mr. Surash retired at the rank of Captain from the United States Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps.
Under his leadership, Navy Public Works Center San Diego received the California Eureka Award for Performance Excellence, Vice President Gore’s Hammer Award, and the President’s Quality Award for Quality Improvement (Malcolm Baldrige criteria). For actions during the California electricity crisis, his Navy Region Southwest Regional Energy Team received a Presidential Award for Leadership in Federal Energy Management, and numerous other recognitions including an Energy Leadership Award from the San Diego Regional Energy Office and an Excellence in Energy Award from the San Diego Business Journal. In addition, Mr. Surash was presented the Department of Energy’s Louis R. Harris Award for establishing one of the federal government's first resource efficiency management programs.
Mr. Surash holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Rochester and a Master of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering, specializing in energy management, from Texas A&M University. He completed the Advanced Management Program at Duke University, Fuqua School of Business and the Executive Certificate in Management and Leadership Program at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Mr. Surash is a registered Professional Engineer.