Mr. Saunders was selected as the Counsel, Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC), in November 2017. In this capacity, he delivers legal advice to the senior leadership of the Command and manages the NAVFAC Office of Counsel, which includes over ninety attorneys at headquarters and in thirteen field offices. Mr. Saunders entered the Senior Executive Service as Deputy Counsel, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), in October 2014.
Mr. Saunders began his career with the Department of the Navy Office of the General Counsel (OGC) in 1994 at the Naval Research Laboratory where he worked the full range of OGC practice areas. In 1998, he transferred to NAVSEA where he worked in positions of increasing responsibility including serving as the head of the systems section where he supervised thirteen attorneys and served as the primary legal advisor for the Program Executive Officer, Integrated Warfare Systems and the Program Executive Officer, Littoral Combat Ships. Prior to working for OGC, Mr. Saunders practiced government contract law and litigation as an associate at the law firm of McKenna & Cuneo in Washington, D.C. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Saunders served as an Assistant Supply Corps Officer on the USS ARTHUR W. RADFORD (DD 968) and also served in the Navy Reserve where he retired with the rank of Commander.
Mr. Saunders received a bachelor of arts in history from Colgate University in 1983, and a juris doctor, cum laude, in 1991 from Albany Law School of Union University. His awards include the Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the OGC Legal Writing Achievement Award, the OGC Acquisition and Fiscal Law Achievement Award, and he is a two time winner of the David Packard, Excellence in Acquisition Award for helping to field systems rapidly for the Joint Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive DeviceWarfare program during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, and for work on the Air and Missile Defense Radar program.