The Honorable Meredith Berger
Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment
Meredith is the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations, and Environment. She also served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Department of the Navy during the Obama-Biden Administration, where she advised the Secretary of the Navy on the formulation, prioritization, and execution of Department-wide strategy, policies, plans, and standards. Prior to assuming the role of Deputy Chief of Staff, she served for two years at the Pentagon as a Defense Fellow, providing support to key offices in the Department of Defense. She joined the Obama-Biden Administration in 2011 as Policy Advisor at the Environmental Protection Agency where she worked on the Presidential Task Force focused on the long-term recovery of the Gulf of Mexico and surrounding areas following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. She began her career in public service at the state of Florida Chief Financial Officer’s office where she developed and executed state policies on climate, insurance, risk, energy, public finance, and housing.
The Honorable Dean Trantalis
Mayor of Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Dean Trantalis was first elected mayor of Fort Lauderdale in 2018 and was re-elected in November 2020. His 2018 election represented the largest victory in city history for a candidate running for a first term as mayor. The 2020 election was also by landslide proportions and featured the largest turnout ever in a city race.
Dean previously served on the City Commission representing District 2 from 2003 to 2006 and from 2013 until his ascension to the mayor’s office. He twice served as vice mayor: from 2005 to 2006 and from 2016 to 2017.
Vice Admiral William Galinis, USN
Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command
Vice Admiral William J. Galinis is a native of Delray Beach, Florida. He is a 1983 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. He holds a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the Naval Post Graduate School.
Galinis’ sea duty assignments included Engineer Officer on board USS Roark (FF 1053) and Damage Control Assistant on board USS Vreeland (FF 1068). He has received various personal, unit, and service awards including three Navy Battle “E” awards. Vice Admiral Galinis assumed command as the 45th Commander of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) in June 2020.
Ms. Bilyana Anderson
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Ship Programs
Ms. Bilyana Anderson began serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Ship Programs in September 2019. In this role, she is responsible for
executive oversight of all naval shipbuilding programs, major ship conversions, and the modernization and disposal of in-service ships. She is also responsible
for executive oversight of cost, schedule and performance of surface ship, submarine, and Marine Corps combat systems, electronic warfare systems, shipboard radars, and Navy missile defense programs.
Mr. Thomas M. Rivers
Executive Director for Amphibious, Auxiliary, and Sealift Office, PEO Ships
Mr. Thomas Rivers has been in federal service for more than 37 years and entered the Senior Executive Service in September 2020 as the Executive Director, Amphibious, Auxiliary and Sealift Office, Program Executive Office, Ships. He provides executive leadership to more than 200 personnel and oversaw one of the broadest acquisition portfolios in the Navy, including more than $40 billion in complex shipbuilding procurements. His responsibilities comprised four major program offices: the LPD 17 Program (PMS 317), the Amphibious Warfare Program (PMS 377), the Strategic and Theater Sealift Program (PMS 385), and the Support Ships, Boats and Craft Program (PMS 325). Active major programs included the LHA(R), LPD 17, EPF, ESB, and T-AO 205 ship classes, as well as Ship to Shore Connector (SSC), Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC), Landing Craft, Utility (LCU), various research/special mission platforms, and service craft/boats.
Mrs. Kari Wilkinson
President, Ingalls Shipbuilding
Executive Vice President, Huntington Ingalls Industries
Kari Wilkinson is executive vice president of Huntington Ingalls Industries and president of Ingalls Shipbuilding. Named to this position in April 2021, she is responsible for all programs and operations at Ingalls, including the U.S. Navy’s amphibious assault and surface combatant ship programs and the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Security Cutter program.
Wilkinson most recently served as the vice president of Program Management at Ingalls where she had profit and loss responsibility for all elements of program execution and served as the principal liaison to the Navy and Coast Guard for all platforms in the Ingalls portfolio.
Captain James Quaresimo, USN
Prospective Commanding Officer
Fort Lauderdale (LPD 28)
Captain James A. Quaresimo is a native of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania and enlisted in the Navy as a Damage Controlman in 1988. His enlisted tours of duty include USS Gallery (FFG 26), instructor at Fire Fighting Training Division, Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, and as Repair Division Leading Chief Petty Officer aboard USS Mitscher (DDG 57).
The Honorable Debbie Wasserman Schultz
United States Representative, Florida’s 23rd District
Debbie Wasserman Schultz has dedicated her public life to serving South Floridians and standing up for justice, equality, and opportunity wherever and whenever it is threatened. As Florida’s first Jewish Congresswoman, she has earned the respect of her colleagues for working tirelessly on behalf of seniors, children, and families for nearly three decades. First sworn in to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2005, Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz previously served in the Florida House of Representatives and Florida Senate.
Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz regrets that she will be unable to attend the ceremony. She sends her regards through a letter which you can read below.