News Release

Impressive impact: ONR executive director lauded for career achievements

Grant and Award Announcement

Office of Naval Research

Sandel Award

image: Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Lorin C. Selby (left) presents the Harold E. Saunders Award for Lifetime Achievement to E. Anne Sandel, the executive director of the Office of Naval Research. The award--the most prestigious accolade from the American Society of Naval Engineers--honors individuals whose reputation in naval engineering spans a long career of notable accomplishments and influence. view more 

Credit: (U.S. Navy photo by Corey Egler)

ARLINGTON, Va.--The American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE) has awarded its most prestigious accolade--the Harold E. Saunders Award for Lifetime Achievement--to E. Anne Sandel, the executive director of the Office of Naval Research (ONR), for outstanding contributions to the Navy and nation over her career.

ASNE formally presented the award to Sandel on Nov. 20, during the organization's virtual Combat Engineering Symposium.

"It's phenomenal to be able to recognize Ms. Sandel for her many accomplishments," said Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Lorin C. Selby. "I have the honor of working with her every day at the Office of Naval Research. She brings an inspiring attitude and energy to her job--as well as a commitment to promoting innovation and forward thinking."

In the award citation, ASNE described Sandel as "one of the most inspirational and outstanding civilian leaders in the Navy. No other Navy Senior Executive has made such a positive impact across so many fields of engineering to the U.S. Navy this century."

"Over the course of my 30 years of government service, I've been blessed to contribute to our nation's security through varying positions and with the guidance of wonderful mentors and coworkers," said Sandel. "I certainly wouldn't be where I am today without their support and insight. It's really a team effort, and we're all in this together."

The Harold E. Saunders Award, presented annually since 1977, honors individuals whose reputation in naval engineering spans a long career of notable accomplishments and influence.

Nominees must have demonstrated productivity, growth and outstanding achievements in engineering over the years. They also must have earned wide recognition from their peers--and the broader naval engineering community--as leaders in their fields.

"Ms. Sandel's selection as the Harold E. Saunders Award recipient embodies the heart and soul of the award," said Dale Lumme, ASNE national executive director. "This lifetime achievement award is the most prestigious recognition ASNE provides, because it represents the acknowledgment of a long, successful and impactful career."

As ONR executive director, Sandel is responsible for oversight of the coordination, execution and promotion of science and technology for the Navy and Marine Corps.

During her career, Sandel served as deputy assistant secretary of the Navy, and was the first female civilian Program Executive Officer (PEO LMW). She also has overseen portfolios that included littoral and mine warfare systems, surface warfare systems and the Navy's International Programs, to name a few.

Sandel has provided leadership across all areas of the Department of the Navy (DoN), including ship design; combat system design; fleet maintenance and modernization; international cooperation and technology sharing; and, most recently, research and development.

One of the most rewarding aspects of Sandel's career has been the opportunity to mentor up-and-coming civilian federal leaders, especially women.

"Mentorship is truly near to my heart," she said. "I have tried to prepare, promote and support as many individuals as possible for senior leadership positions in the federal government--and to motivate current leaders to create a mentoring culture within their sphere of influence.

"I look forward to assisting others who desire to make significant contributions through their careers in the DoN and Department of Defense," Sandel continued.


Learn more about ASNE and the Harold E. Saunders Award for Lifetime Achievement at

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