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NPS Alumnus Returns to Lead HR Center of Excellence
U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Michael Ehrlich

NPS Alumnus Returns to Lead HR Center of Excellence

By MC2 Michael Ehrlich

The Graduate School of Business and Public Policy’s Human Resources Center of Excellence (HRCOE) recently welcomed new director, Capt. George Werenskjold. A 1998 NPS alumnus and seasoned Navy HR officer, Werenskjold says he is looking forward to giving back to the Navy HR community through the center’s one-of-a-kind programs.

“In uniform, the HR community is not exactly like HR in the civilian world … We are experts in the entire process, from developing requirements of billets, in addition to the processes of recruiting, retaining, advancing, promoting, separating and retiring personnel,” explained Werenskjold.

“On one side, it’s the requirement piece where we develop the methodology of billets,” he continued.  “Then we do the programming side, where we fund those billets within a certain amount of resources, and we can only resource so much as those resources are programmed year after year.”

In an environment where change is frequent, with new leadership and new priorities, Werenskjold says the role of the HRCOE is to ensure the Navy’s HR community is prepared.

“Certainly, with sequestration, resourcing has been challenging. We have had to do the cliché, ‘do more with less,’” he said. “There has been a lot of pressure on the top line, which has caused the Navy to make some difficult choices.”

"Even in an environment where the topline is expanding, resources will still be constrained," he says. "And HR officers need to understand how to maximize resources to ensure the Navy is getting the “best return on its investment.”

“A lot of what NPS teaches is very valuable to the Navy in terms of doing the analysis, and therefore defending your investments,” he noted.

As Werenskjold sets his sights on evolving the HRCOE curricula to meet current needs, he says he’s looking forward to continuing the efforts of his predecessors.

“There has been a long line of HR O-6’s that have had this job,” said Werenskjold. “This office has only been here since around 2008, but every new director that has come in has been building and building the center and its role at NPS.“

Capt. Theresa Lewis did a fantastic job, and in handing it over to me, I know I’ve got big shoes to fill,” he continued. “I look forward to the opportunity.”


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