Mason professor receives prestigious U.S. Navy civilian award

Professor John Hillen, right, receives the U.S. Navy Meritorious Public Service Award from Admiral John Richardson, chief of U.S. naval operations. Photo courtesy U.S. Navy.

John Hillen, professor of management and executive-in-residence at George Mason University’s School of Business, has received the U.S. Navy Meritorious Public Service Award, the third-highest civilian award the Navy can bestow.

Hillen, a decorated U.S. Army combat veteran, was recognized for his service during the past nine years as a member of the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel. As a personal advisor to four chiefs of naval operations, Hillen provided expert peer-level advice on essential naval and national security matters. He also led several studies for the Navy, including ones on teaching and training ethics in the service.

The citation given to Hillen reads, in part, “Hillen’s leadership and superb council on the Navy Ethics study led to significant recommendations that were of great value to the Chief of Naval Operations. His contributions to studies on Iran, agile information technology, rightsizing the civilian workforce, and survivable communications directly impacted operational improvements and had a significant influence on U.S. Navy policies and programs.”

Said Hillen: “It was a great honor to help advise the head of the U.S. Navy for many years and lead several studies that impact the service, in particular the study on teaching ethics in the Navy, which is an essential part of the curriculum in my leadership class in our MBA program.” 

Hillen received the award on Jan. 24, in a ceremony at the Pentagon. It was presented by the head of the U.S. Navy, Admiral John Richardson, chief of naval operations.