Dr. Matt Napoli, Class of ’04, to keynote Fall ’23 Commencement

Nov 14, 2023 | General News

Matt Napoli

Monroe native Dr. Matt Napoli, Executive Director of Foreign and Public Affairs for the United States Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program and a mechanical engineering major in Louisiana Tech’s Class of 2004, will serve as the keynote speaker for the University’s Fall Commencement ceremony Saturday, November 18 at 10 a.m. in the Thomas Assembly Center on the Tech campus.

In addition, George A. Baldwin, Jr., who earned his BS in Petroleum Engineering from Tech in 1978 and is a Privileged Director of the Louisiana Tech University Foundation and the 2015 Alumnus of the Year, will become the University’s newest Tower Medallion recipient and be inducted by the Louisiana Tech Alumni Association into Tech’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni.

The Tower Medallion Award signifies membership in the Hall and is awarded to Tech alumni who have distinguished themselves by exceptional achievement, community service, and humanitarian activities.

Also at commencement, Frank “Scotty” Moran, Chief Executive Officer of Moran Oil Company, Inc., in Grand Cane and one of the University’s most generous benefactors and trusted advisors, will be presented with an honorary Doctor of Science degree.

Family and friends unable to attend commencement can watch the event via Facebook Live.

Napoli earned his MS in mechanical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School, and a PhD from The George Washington University in public policy and administration with a concentration in science and technology policy. His doctoral dissertation focused on nuclear proliferation. Napoli is a graduate of the Bettis Reactor Engineering School (a graduate-level school administered by US government on classified military applications of nuclear energy).  He also completed a fellowship with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Seminar XXI program on foreign policy and national security.

Commissioned as an officer in the US Navy in 2004, he served as the Lead Nuclear Components Engineer for the US Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, also known as Naval Reactors. In this capacity, he oversaw the design of nuclear propulsion plant components for the GERALD R. FORD Class aircraft carrier, VIRGINIA Class attack submarine, and COLUMBIA Class next-generation ballistic missile submarine. At the end of his Navy service, he was selected to remain at Naval Reactors, a joint Department of Navy and Department of Energy organization, as a Federal civilian.

He served as the Naval Reactors Director of Foreign Affairs from 2009 to 2017. In this position, he managed government-to-government relations, developed and executed policies associated with port entry of U.S. nuclear-powered warships, and managed policies for international nuclear export controls.

In 2017, he was named the Executive Director of Foreign and Public Affairs at Naval Reactors. He currently serves as the foreign policy advisor to the Director of Naval Reactors, a four-star Admiral, serves as a lead technical advisor to the Deputy Director of Naval Reactors, oversees government-to-government military nuclear agreements, and manages US nuclear-powered warship port entry policy to over 150 ports in over 50 countries. He is the Naval Reactors representative to the National Security Council, US Interagency, and Intelligence Community on nuclear policy matters, oversees all public affairs activities for the Program, and is a lead spokesman for Naval Reactors.

Napoli is a lifetime member on the Council on Foreign Relations. He received two Department of Navy superior public service awards for his work as a chief architect in the creation of the Australia, United Kingdom, and United States enhanced trilateral security partnership known as “AUKUS” and separately for his work with the Government of Japan. Additionally, he received two awards from the Secretary of Energy for his work with the United Kingdom and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He has been recognized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and, during his active-duty service, received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal.

George Baldwin, Jr. is a Registered Professional Petroleum Engineer and business executive, a principal of Baldwin Madden Energy, LLC, and President and Chief Executive Officer of three EnSight Energy oil and gas partnerships.

George Baldwin, Jr.

A native of Shreveport, Baldwin began his professional career with Arkla Exploration Company in 1978. In 1994, he and principals of Brammer Engineering and Keystone Exploration formed Brammer-Keystone Energy, which evolved into the EnSight franchise of oil and gas investment partnerships. Baldwin has guided this enterprise as President since 1997, has successfully concluded three EnSight programs, and still presides over three that remain active, principally in the Haynesville Shale. He has been directly involved in scores of oil and gas acquisition, divestiture, and financing transactions with an aggregate value well over $1 billion.

Baldwin has served on various corporate and non-profit advisory boards and is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the National Society of Professional Engineers, the Louisiana Engineering Society, and Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society.

Scotty Moran, who attended Tech in 1957-58, established Moran Oil, a privately held energy company, in 1969. He and his wife, Espe, recognize the great value of providing opportunities for present and future generations to pursue quality education. They have been major benefactors of educational institutions including Providence Academy in Bossier City, Louisiana State University, Tech, and numerous others. Through his vision, commitment to excellence, and generous financial support, Scotty has had major impacts on education and countless students’ lives. His advocacy and generous fi­nancial support were key factors in the construction of the Academic Success Center and the Louisiana Tech Research Institute facilities in Bossier City.