Alumnus Sworn in as Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Navy

September 19, 2018

By Kendra Parks

Thomas ‘Tom’ Harker, MBA ’00, was sworn in as Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Financial Management and Comptroller Office) on January 2, 2018.

Before taking on this role, according to his biography, Harker was a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, where he assisted with multiple seizures of illegal drugs. On dry land, his responsibilities included tasks such as managing budgets, acquisitions, and financial reporting.

When Harker left the Coast Guard, he worked for a large public accounting firm, completing audits and offering consultations. However, Harker decided to leave the private sector and return to his roots in the government, assisting with duties such as audit readiness and financial reporting.

Below, Harker provides some insight into his time as an MBA student at the U, as well as some of the responsibilities included with his new appointment.

MBS News: How did the Miami Business School influence you and your future?

Harker: The Miami Business School helped me to integrate the leadership lessons I had learned while serving as a junior officer in the Coast Guard and apply them in a larger context: to shift from a tactical to a strategic thinking model. It also gave me a good grounding in each of the business disciplines and highlighted the importance of each of them working harmoniously to accomplish the organizations goals.

MBS News: What are some of your main duties and responsibilities for this role?

Harker: The Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Financial Management and Comptroller is the Chief Financial Officer of the Navy. As the CFO, I spend much of my time focused on three areas: the formulation and execution of the Department of the Navy's $195 billion annual budget, leading the Navy through their first ever financial statement audit, and leading the effort to consolidate multiple accounting systems and standardize business processes.

MBS News: After being named Assistant Secretary of the Navy, what duties or responsibilities are you most looking forward to in this new role?

Harker: 2018 is the first time that the Navy has ever undergone a financial statement audit. I am looking forward to leading the Navy through their first several financial statement audits, and in leading the organizational changes that will be necessary for the Navy and Marine Corps to obtain clean opinions on their audits.

The Miami Business School is thankful to Assistant Secretary Harker for his service and dedication to our country. We are also delighted to call him an alumnus of our school.

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