EEMI Professor Appointed to High Level Government Position

 EEMI Professor Alex Beehler
EEMI Professor Alex Beehler
January 06, 2019
Professor Alex Beehler, a key member of the Environmental and Energy Management Institute (EEMI) leadership team for more than three years, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on January 3 to be the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment.  Alex, who served as an EEMI Visiting Scholar from 2015 until his appointment as a Research Professor by GW Provost Forrest Maltzman in September 2017, will assume his new duties at the Pentagon on January 14, 2019.
 
In his new positon, which arguably is the most important job in the world in terms of direct organizational impact on energy consumption and environmental protection, Alex will have responsibility for establishing policy, providing strategic direction and supervising all matters pertaining to infrastructure, energy and environmental programs affecting U.S. Army installations and contingency bases worldwide.
 
Alex, nominated by the President in January 2018, had a successful confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Forces Committee on August 21, 2018. In its August 23, 2018 newsletter, the Center for Climate and Security posted an article entitled “Army Assistant Secretary Nominee on Whether or Not Climate Change Affects the Military: Absolutely.” The article was based on a discussion led by Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed regarding whether or not he agreed with the Secretary of Defense’s view that climate change affects the military mission.
 
Alex had an especially notable tenure at GW, specializing in water, public-private partnerships and sustainability issues and also serving as a member of the EEMI Advisory Board. In January 2019, Alex delivered the final report of a research project on the use of microreactors for the Army.  
 


Testify
Professor Beehler Testifies at Confirmation Hearing

The EEMI report reflects 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 (2 to 10 MWe generating capacity). The objective of the project is to help replace fossil fuel use, reducing the Army’s contributions to greenhouse gas emissions and other atmospheric pollutants, helping to prevent wartime casualties associated with fuel transport, and increasing the resilience and reliability of military power sources.
 
 
 
 
Hearing room
Confirmation Hearing Overview
 
Before joining the EEMI in 2015, Alex 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 where he was successful in reducing hazardous chemical use by 20 percent, increasing the procurement of green products by 25 percent, and addressing security issues related to reliance on foreign oil, greenhouse gases and international competition for resources.
 
 
 
Attendees
Attendees at hearing: doctoral student Ryan Gabel, Alex & Stephanie Beehler, Prof. Jonathan Deason

Alex received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University, where he graduated in 1975, and received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1978. After graduating from law school, Alex spent 25 years both in private law practice as a corporate regulatory director and in several Federal agencies including 10 years in the U.S. Department of Justice as a senior trial attorney in the Environmental Enforcement Section's Environment and Natural Resources Division. He also is a former executive vice president of a government contracting company specializing in environmental services to the U.S. Army.

He also has been the author of many publications and is the recipient of many honors and awards, some of which can be seen on his bio summary that is posted at https://eemi.seas.gwu.edu/leadership.