Mr. Dennis Therning Receives the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award


2/26/2009 - 3-09r
Contact: Amanda Bowie, (202) 767-2541


Mr. Dennis Therning, Associate Director of Research for Business Operations and Comptroller at the Naval Research Laboratory, is the recipient of the Department of the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award. The award is the second highest award a Navy civilian employee can receive. He is recognized for his exceptional leadership in managing the business operations that ensure NRL's world-class science and technology contributions are delivered in the most proficient and resourceful manner possible.

Mr. Therning provides the essential support infrastructure and services that sustain an innovative environment, allowing NRL researchers to complete their jobs and produce new warfighting capabilities for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. As the Associate Director of Research (ADOR) for Business Operations and Comptroller of NRL, Mr. Therning directs the workforce that provides the financial, contracting, supply, information systems, specialized facility and equipment, safety, environmental, and administrative services that are all integral parts of the NRL's research mission. Mr. Therning's dual positions at NRL are a consolidation of responsibilities to a single individual that is not typical, but was accepted by Navy leadership.

The award citation reads, in part,

The effective and efficient management of NRL's support infrastructure helps sustain the Laboratory's record of scientific and technological success. Mr. Therning's tireless efforts, dedication, achievement, and continued improvements to business operations merit recognition at the highest level for his service to the U.S. Navy and the Nation.

The award recognized Mr. Therning's sustained contributions, achievements, and continuous improvement in various business operations and functions, including overhead cost savings of NRL's Navy Working Capital Fund, improved procurement services, reducing travel order payment backlogs, clearing aged accounting problems, modernizing corporate and directorate-level business information systems, and integrating facilities and safety/environmental functions.

In addition to his daily leadership and management of the business operations, Mr. Therning often performs special projects that are of significant importance to NRL. Of particular mention, in 2005 he led NRL's Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) team, a small group of four professionals selected to obtain, develop, and integrate data for BRAC data calls. These data calls required quick response, sometimes within 48 hours, and often consisted of thousands of individual data elements. Mr. Therning's performance exceeded all expectations, and contributed to NRL being ranked #1, out of 617 technical activities, for military value in six of thirteen S&T areas.

Mr. Therning holds a bachelor's degree in business administration/finance from Washington State University and an MBA from George Mason University. He has served in various positions throughout the Department of Navy, including Budget Office for the Director of Navy Laboratories (DNL), Director of the Defense Business Operations Fund Resources Management Division at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, and head of the Revolving and Other Funds Branch in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Financial Management and Comptroller. Mr. Therning joined NRL in 1996 as the head of the Financial Management Division, and in 2000 he was appointed to the Senior Executive Service and became comptroller/ADOR for Business Operations, where he continues to serve today.



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About the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory is the Navy's full-spectrum corporate laboratory, conducting a broadly based multidisciplinary program of scientific research and advanced technological development. The Laboratory, with a total complement of approximately 2,500 personnel, is located in southwest Washington, D.C., with other major sites at the Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Monterey, Calif. NRL has served the Navy and the nation for over 90 years and continues to meet the complex technological challenges of today's world. For more information, visit the NRL homepage or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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