John P. Quinn

Associate Administrator for Environment and Compliance

Photograph: John P. Quinn
John P. Quinn

John P. Quinn, a member of the U.S. Senior Executive Service, became the Maritime Administration’s Associate Administrator for Environment and Compliance on April 8th, 2013.  In this capacity he promotes a robust American sealift capability by addressing three critical operational challenges facing the maritime industry:  environmental protection, vessel security and vessel safety.  Mr. Quinn leads active engagement with government, industry, and nongovernmental organizations to develop appropriate environmental and safety requirements, and to provide technological and best management practice solutions to emergent challenges. 

As Deputy Director, Chief of Naval Operations Energy and Environmental Readiness Division from April 2008 through April 2013 Mr. Quinn led diverse programs essential to warfighter readiness, in the areas of energy, environmental protection, encroachment management and radiological control and health.  During his tenure the Navy became a national leader in energy efficiency technology for ships and aircraft, and in alternative renewable fuel development.  Mr. Quinn led the completion of an unprecedented global environmental planning and permitting effort covering training and testing activities at sea worldwide, the most expansive such effort ever undertaken by a federal agency.  He was the catalyst for groundbreaking agreements between the Navy and wind energy developers, which implemented technological and other mitigation that will enable renewable energy development without interference with Navy and Federal Aviation Administration air traffic control radars.  Mr. Quinn oversaw administration of the Navy’s Master Materials License, providing for the safe use of radiological sources and devices for medical, industrial and research purposes throughout the Navy and Marine Corps

Appointed to the Senior Executive Service in April 2008, Mr. Quinn has 12 years of federal civilian service and 26 years on active duty in the Navy JAG Corps and Supply Corps. 

Mr. Quinn served as Naval Sea Systems Command’s (NAVSEA) senior environmental and occupational health attorney from October 2001 through April 2008, providing advice and assistance to the Headquarters, Program Executive Offices, shipyards and warfare centers nationwide. 

While serving at NAVSEA the Secretary of the Navy appointed Mr. Quinn to lead an interagency, interdisciplinary working group to research and advise on issues relating to more than $6 billion in tort claims filed by the residents of the Puerto Rican Island of Vieques, which alleged physical and mental injury from five decades of military training on the Island.  Addressing legal, environmental, public health, political and public relations dimensions of the claims, the working group enabled the Department of the Navy to deny the claims in good faith, to prevail in subsequent litigation, and to effectively convey the Navy message to Congress and the American people.

Mr. Quinn served as the first Environmental Counsel to the Chief of Naval Research from December 2000 to October 2001, where he guided completion of extensive environmental planning processes in support of the full range of Navy research activities worldwide.

As an active duty JAG Corps officer, Mr. Quinn served as the Executive Assistant and Special Counsel to the General Counsel of the Department of the Navy from April 1999 through November 2000.  He retired from this position with the rank of Captain in November 2000. 

From 1998 through 1999 Mr. Quinn headed the Navy JAG International and Operational Law Division, providing legal advice and assistance to Navy units worldwide.  During this time he was a member of the U.S. Delegation to the International Maritime Organization, protecting Navy interests in the designation of restricted areas at sea.

Serving in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Installations and Environment) from 1995 through 1998, Mr. Quinn led the first ever Endangered Species Act consultation covering significant Navy training at sea.  The effort resulted in a biological opinion for the protection of Northern Right Whales, winning the Navy accolades from the Marine Mammal Commission and other environmental stakeholders.  During this time Congress enacted the Uniform National Discharge Standards amendment to the Clean Water Act, for which Mr. Quinn was the principal architect and spokesman.

In prior military tours Mr. Quinn served as environmental counsel on the Chief of Naval Operations staff and at the Pacific Fleet Headquarters.  He is a plankowner in the aircraft carrier USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN-71).  In the Navy Supply Corps he served in USS FARRAGUT (DDG-37) and as aide to the Deputy Commander, Navy Supply Systems Command.  His military decorations include three Legion of Merit medals, the Meritorious Service Medal and three Navy Commendation Medals. 

Mr. Quinn holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (political science and economics), cum laude, from Duke University; a Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from the Georgetown University Law Center; and a Master of Laws degree (environmental), with highest honors, from the George Washington University.  He and his wife Janet live in Springfield Virginia and have two grown children.  In his spare time Mr. Quinn enjoys golf, guitar, banjo, fitness and Civil War history.