Brendan Owens

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations, and Environment Chief Sustainability Officer


The Honorable Brendan Owens was sworn in as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations, and Environment on January 26, 2023. In this role, he is the principal advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment for all matters relating to operational and facility energy; installations real property planning, operations, and sustainment; environment protection, compliance, and restoration; natural, historical and cultural resources; and accompanied and unaccompanied military housing. He oversees the Department of Defense’s real property portfolio encompassing millions of acres and over 500,000 buildings and structures at more than 500 installations, and additionally serves as the Chief Sustainability Officer and Chief Housing Officer for the Department of Defense.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Owens served as Principal of Black Vest Strategy, a consultancy focused on the intersection of health, equity, and climate issues in the built environment. He was also a co-founder of Ecountabl, Inc., a technology platform seeking to democratize access to corporate environmental, social, and governance information.

Previously, Mr. Owens had a 19-year career with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). At USGBC, Mr. Owens supported the technical development of USGBC’s LEED Green Building Rating System, as well as the creation of numerous other building sector standards and codes for high performance, zero energy and grid interactive buildings. He has experience across supply and demand sectors of the energy industry, buildings, and infrastructure with a focus on integrative technology and inclusive policy to optimize outcomes.

Prior to his work at USGBC, Mr. Owens was the energy manager at U.S. Army’s Fort Belvoir, where he participated in source selection, implementation, and measurement and verification of what was the largest energy savings performance contract in Department of Defense history.

Mr. Owens is an engineering graduate from Purdue University, where he served on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the University’s Honor’s College. He is a Virginia-registered Professional Engineer and was honored as a LEED Fellow in 2012. He grew up Coast Guard, but considers Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, where he lives with his family, home.

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