Former GW Research Professor Begins Army Appointment

Alex Beehler, an expert in environmental and energy management, was confirmed by the Senate earlier this month.

Alex Beehler, a former School of Engineering and Applied Science research professor, is the new assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment.
January 23, 2019

Alex Beehler, a former School of Engineering and Applied Science research professor and a member of the Environmental and Energy Management Institute (EEMI) advisory board, recently began his appointment as assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment.

Mr. Beehler was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Jan. 2 and assumed the role on Jan. 14. In his new position, Mr. Beehler will be responsible for establishing policy, providing strategic direction and supervising all matters concerning infrastructure, energy and environmental programs affecting U.S. Army installations and contingency bases worldwide.

Mr. Beehler was nominated by President Donald Trump in January 2018 and participated in a confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Forces Committee on Aug. 21.

Mr. Beehler came to GW as an EEMI visiting scholar in 2015 and was appointed research professor in September 2017. During his time at GW, Mr. Beehler specialized in water, public-private partnerships and sustainability issues.

Jonathan Deason, co-director of EEMI, said Mr. Beehler’s expertise will facilitate meaningful contributions to the field in his new capacity.

“Alex has been a tremendous asset during his tenure with us. He’s made tremendous contributions to our research program, contributed strongly to the development of our new professional education program and been a key participant in a number of EEMI-coordinated seminars over that time,” Dr. Deason said. “Although we hate to lose him, we know that he will be an effective leader in one of our nation’s most important environmental jobs.”

Mr. Beehler recently led the final report of a research project focused on the current state of knowledge regarding licensing, technology development, fuel acquisition, siting, transportability, power sales, environmental impacts and other matters related to potential use by the U.S. Army of microreactors, which are very small nuclear reactors.

The objective of the project was to help replace fossil fuel use, reduce the Army’s contributions to greenhouse gas emissions, help prevent wartime casualties associated with fuel transport and increase the resilience and reliability of military power sources.

Before joining the EEMI in 2015, Mr. Beehler served in several key positions in the Department of Defense including the assistant deputy under secretary of defense for environment, safety and occupational health and as the acting deputy under secretary of defense for installations and environment. He also served as the first DoD chief sustainability officer.

Mr. Beehler received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. He previously served 10 years in the Department of Justice as a senior trial attorney in the environmental enforcement section's environment and natural resources division.

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