The Honorable B.J. Penn is a former Assistant Secretary and Acting Secretary of the Navy and a well-known Washington-area civic leader. Mr. Penn had a long and distinguished career as a naval aviator before assuming administrative duties for the Navy. Mr. Penn left the Navy for the private sector in 1991, joining Loral Corporation as Director of International Business. In 1996, Mr. Penn was assigned to Lockheed Martin's Corporate Staff and in 1998 he transferred to the Lockheed Martin's Naval Electronics and Surveillance Systems. He returned to the U.S. Navy in October 2001 as Director of Industrial Base Assessments, serving in that capacity until President Bush named him Assistant Secretary.
President Obama also recognized his abilities, asking him to serve as Acting Secretary of the Navy in 2009. In 2011 he became chairman of the board of Spectra Systems, a company specializing in banknote authentication and product tracking technologies. He currently works as a consultant and heads his own firm, Genesis IV LLC. He and his wife reside in northern Virginia.