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Suspension and Debarment Official Biography

Catherine L. Kessmeier
Ms. Catherine L. Kessmeier is the Assistant General Counsel (Acquisition Integrity) for the Department of the Navy (DON). She is responsible for leading, managing, and overseeing the DON’s Acquisition Integrity Program and the Acquisition Integrity Office. This entails coordinating the acquisition integrity efforts of all the major stakeholders, including the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Naval Audit Service, Naval Inspector General, and the acquisition community. Ms. Kessmeier has 16 years of Federal service and entered the Senior Executive Service in January 2013.
Previously, she served as Deputy Assistant General Counsel (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) (M&RA), providing advice and counsel to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (M&RA) across a broad range of subjects, including civilian personnel, counternarcotics, clemency/parole, diversity, ethics and standards of conduct, equal employment opportunity, investigations, labor-relations, non-appropriated fund instrumentalities, military manpower, personnel security, and whistleblower protection.
Ms. Kessmeier joined the DON’s Office of General Counsel in 1999 as a civilian personnel law attorney assigned to the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). Later, she became a Subsection Head for NAVSEA’s Civilian Personnel Law and Special Projects Section. In 2005, she served a detail as Acting Counsel, NSWC Indian Head Division, prior to being selected as Counsel, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Carderock Division. As NSWC Carderock Counsel, Ms. Kessmeier provided legal advice and representation across a broad spectrum of practice areas, including government contracts, civilian personnel law, environmental law, fiscal law, intellectual property law, and standards of conduct. She also managed and directed the provision of legal services for five Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) legal offices as NAVSEA Mid-Atlantic Area Counsel. Prior to her employment with the DON, Ms. Kessmeier worked for the Department of Commerce Office of General Counsel at its Headquarters, as well as the United States Patent & Trademark Office. She began her Federal career in 1996 as a staff attorney for the Chair of the Federal Labor Relations Authority.
Ms. Kessmeier graduated from Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia PA with a bachelor’s of arts degree in political science, having completed the Interdepartmental Honors Program. She earned her J.D. from the Widener University School of Law, Wilimington, DE. While attending law school, she served as an Associate Articles Editor for the Widener Law Symposium Journal and as an Executive Board Member of the Moot Court Honor Society.
Ms. Kessmeier received the Department of the Navy’s Superior Civilian Service Award in 2013 and the Meritorious Civilian Service Award in 2004 and 2009. She is a member of the Bars of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.