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CMA Shipping
40th Annual Expo & Conference
April 1-3, 2025Hilton Stamford | Connecticut, USA

Frank A. Putzu
Senior Advisor, National Security and Nonproliferation at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory


Frank A. Putzu currently serves as Senior Advisor, National Security and Nonproliferation, in the National Security Division, with a focus on legal and policy frameworks for the control, security, and nonproliferation of weapons and materials. His portfolio includes small modular reactors, strategic arms control regimes, and nuclear security and safeguards.

Mr. Putzu served as Counsel, Naval Reactors, within the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), Department of the Navy. He served in that capacity since 2003 and was promoted to Senior Level (SL) in August 2012, the first SL in the Department of the Navy Office of the General Counsel. The mission of NR is to provide militarily effective, safe and reliable naval nuclear propulsion plants. NR is an integrated organization of the Navy and the Department of Energy. As Counsel, Mr. Putzu advised the senior leadership of NR on legal and business issues associated with nuclear energy and nuclear waste, maritime nuclear power, international treaties, agreements and regulations, environmental law, ethics, and associated litigation, government contract law, personnel law, and fiscal law.

Mr. Putzu also served in special assignments for OGC, the Navy and DoD, including Counsel and senior advisor to investigations and evaluations of matters of great interest to the United States, such as the Comprehensive Review of the Department of the Navy’s Uniformed Legal Communities, Secretary of the Navy’s Strategic Readiness Review in the wake of ship collisions, Investigation Into the Shootings at the Washington Navy Yard, Consolidated Disposition Authority assessing accountability relating to the Glenn Defense Marine Asia Investigation, Panel Reviewing Manning Requirements in the Navy’s Judge Advocate General Corps, and Response to the Fukushima Dai'ichi Nuclear Incident. He also served as Navy Counsel to the Section 574 Panel reviewing the Delivery of Legal Services to the Department of Defense, and Counsel to the Investigation into the Air Force Mis-Shipment of Nuclear Components to Taiwan, and related follow up investigations.

Mr. Putzu received the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Service Award in 2018, Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration Distinguished Career Service Award in 2023, Department of the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award in 2020, 2018, 2008, and 2003, the DoN Meritorious Civilian Service Award in 2022, 2016, 2006, and 2005, and Department of Energy Honors Award in 2015. He also was selected for Navy’s Competition and Procurement Excellence Award in 2002 and 2003.

Mr. Putzu is a graduate of Duke University, Durham, NC. He received his J.D. from the American University, Washington College of Law, Washington, D.C. He is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Agenda Sessions

  • Nuclear Power Potential for Zero-Emission Shipping