Rear Admiral Jeffrey W. Novak

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Rear Admiral Jeffery W. Novak, Military Advisor to the Secretary.

Rear Admiral Novak serves as the Military Advisor to the Secretary of Homeland Security. In this role, his primary responsibility is to provide counsel to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary regarding policies, plans, and other affairs between the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense.

Previously, he served as Chief of Staff, Coast Guard Pacific Area in Alameda, CA, from June 2022 to April 2024, where he directly supported the Area Commander and Commander, Defense Force West, with responsibility for all Coast Guard missions westward from the Rocky Mountains across the Indo-Pacific to the coast of eastern Africa, including the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

He has commanded ashore and at sea, most recently as Commander of Sector Detroit, Michigan, responsible for all Coast Guard missions along the international border with Canada through Lakes Erie, St. Clair and Huron.  He served in four cutters and commanded USCGCs BLOCK ISLAND and GRAND ISLE.  As Commanding Officer of USCGC GRAND ISLE, he led his crew on deployment to the Mediterranean Sea in 2003 for port security and coastal defense in support of U. S. and coalition forces during Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM.

His other assignments include as the Executive Assistant to the Assistant Commandant for Human Resources (CG-1) at Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, DC, supporting the Service’s globally deployed active-duty military, reserve and civil service workforce of over 50,000 and their families. He served as the Special Assistant to 25th Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Paul F. Zukunft, where he helped oversee the Commandant’s strategic priorities and engagements.  From 2011 to 2013, Rear Admiral Novak was assigned as the Coast Guard’s Senior Liaison to the State Department, and further detailed to the White House National Security Council to work on the National Strategy for the Arctic Region.  Other ashore assignments include, as Deputy Commander of Sector Buffalo, NY; Budget and Programs Reviewer at Atlantic Area, Portsmouth, VA; and Operations Officer of Vessel Traffic Service Houston/Galveston, TX.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Government from the U. S. Coast Guard Academy, as well as a Master of Public Administration and Graduate Certificate from East Carolina University.  He graduated with Distinction from the Naval War College of Naval Command and Staff, receiving the Director’s Award for Academic Excellence.  He was selected for and completed fellowships with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Seminar XXI, Office of the Secretary Defense’s Office of Net Assessment Summer Study 2018, and State Department National Security Executive Leadership program.  He is a graduate of the Air War College with a Master of Strategic Studies, where his thesis research on Excess Defense Article programs was nominated as the Air University’s submission to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Strategic Research Paper competition. 

Rear Admiral Novak is designated as a permanent Cutterman and Response Operations Ashore Professional. His personal awards include the Secretary of State Superior Honor Award, the Legion of Merit (2), Meritorious Service Medal (5), Coast Guard Commendation Medal (3) and Coast Guard Achievement Medal (4).  He was the 2020 Runner-Up Coast Guard Elite Male Athlete of the Year, with distinction in ultra-marathon and trail running.

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