Assistant Secretary of the Navy
(Research, Development and Acquisition)
In May 2022, Ms. Maria A. Proestou was appointed to serve as the Strategic Acquisition Advisor to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition). In this role, she provides executive leadership and expertise to strategic acquisition efforts across the Naval Research, Development and Acquisition enterprise.
Throughout her career, she has established a track-record of success in developing strategies & execution roadmaps, as well as managing transformational programs & teams in support of the Department of Defense, with Congressional members, and industry stakeholders. As a DoD industry partner, Ms. Proestou and her company, DELTA Resources, Inc., implemented high visibility initiatives in the areas of cybersecurity, C5ISRT, interoperability, rapid acquisition, and technology transition. Her company’s strategic contracts spanned the Department of the Navy’s portfolio of acquisition programs and, for DoD, was instrumental in establishing governance structures for critical infrastructure and cybersecurity programs. Ms. Proestou’s experience encompasses every DON buying command and their associated large, mid-tier, and small business industrial base partners. She has been particularly engaged in understanding the role that small business technology and service providers play in promoting innovation across the DoD.
As a long-term member of the Navy industrial base, Ms. Proestou has a 25+ year track record advising Navy acquisition executives with a particular focus on leveraging small business technology programs. Her firm’s work with the DON’s Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) program contributed to the Department of the Navy’s recognition as DoD’s leader in SBIR Technology Transition. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Professional Service Council, where she promoted industry’s role in enabling Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2).
Prior to joining ASN (RD&A), she oversaw the integration of DELTA Resources, Inc., the company she founded and led for 20 years, into a $250M C5ISRT-focused Engineering and Sustainment business. In this capacity, she developed strategies for organic and inorganic growth, supported mergers and acquisitions and was responsible for nearly 50% of corporate revenue. As Chief Executive Officer of DELTA, she grew the enterprise from a woman-owned small business to a large business earning “Great Places to Work” awards for 12 consecutive years. She frequently speaks on the topic of workforce engagement, served as a keynote speaker at Fortune Magazine’s “Best Places to Work” Annual Conference, and was an invited speaker at the Obama White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility.
Ms. Proestou received her Bachelor of Arts degree from The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs focusing on security studies. She attended the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tuft’s University receiving her Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy following completion of a dual thesis in national security and finance.