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It’s important to attract good people. And over the next 100 years, Booz Allen will become more than just advisers and helpers. We’ll be real partners with utilities, oil and gas companies, and tech innovators.
We’re going to help shape industry and sustain those changes. In leading the firm’s energy business, I also know how adept we are at creating teams with diverse strengths and skill sets.
In doing so, we’re preparing the future generation that will tackle tough issues.
Gary Rahl leads our energy business. Under his leadership, the firm has established a dominant position in the federal energy market and developed leading-edge capabilities to support federal and commercial clients.
For both public sector and commercial clients, Gary has led the design and implementation of energy technology development programs, renewable energy and microgrid projects, and enterprise-wide energy strategies.
Gary is spearheading our focus on transforming the electric utility system toward a more distributed, networked, market-oriented, and customer-focused state. He is officer in charge of 17 microgrid development projects awarded as part of the New York Prize program. He also leads the firm’s support of multiple Department of Defense clients in developing renewable energy and other energy security projects on military installations.
In addition, Gary leads the firm’s comprehensive support to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Project Agency–Energy. Gary and his team are helping DOE identify and fund high-potential, next-generation energy technologies. He also leads the firm’s energy sector planning and analysis support to the National Energy Technology Laboratory. Under Gary’s leadership, Booz Allen has been selected for key roles in the management and operations of DOE sites, including the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and the Pantex/Y12 nuclear production sites.
In the course of his career, Gary has also successfully led the firm’s environmental consulting business with the U.S. Navy, Department of Defense, and Environmental Protection Agency. He is a founder of Booz Allen’s sustainability program, and has spoken and written extensively on important energy and sustainability topics.
Gary joined the firm after serving as a U.S. Navy officer at Naval Nuclear Propulsion program headquarters. There, he led the development of guidance to integrate environmental, safety, and occupational health considerations into major weapons system design and acquisition programs at the Naval Sea Systems Command.
Gary has a B.S. in aeronautics and astronautics and a B.S. in humanities from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.P.P. from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Why are you passionate about the work you do? There are major forces transforming the energy sector. The work we do has such connection with the purpose statement for Booz Allen—empowering people to charge the world. Energy is important to lives of all people. It’s always rewarding to practice your craft and be good at it, but it’s even better to also see that the work you’re doing has positive change on the world.
Why do you have the career you have? I’ve always had an interest in solving problems, and that requires you to integrate and synthesize a broad set of perspectives. Part of what brought me to Booz Allen is that I could see that in the way we approached our work. It was the right atmosphere for me.
Why is Booz Allen an ideal firm for someone with expertise and skills in the energy sector? We holistically take on big problems facing customers and the world. We don’t seek to answer narrow technical questions, but work around multi-disciplinary themes and problems that demand a multi-disciplinary approach. Employees find that they’re working on problems in the way they should be worked on, and with people that solve other parts of the puzzle. Not only does the work have greater impact, but there is greater personal development from that rich interaction.
How do you help your clients prepare for the future? I think our sweet spot is helping clients develop organizational capabilities. For example in commercial we help clients figure out what capabilities they need in the future to take advantage of opportunities or to mitigate risk. We can deliver those organizational capabilities to customers in a number of different ways: Consulting, direct capability augmentation, technology and solutions, partnerships, and innovation.
What makes you excited to come to work in the morning? The optimism of people that I work with puts the extra bounce in my step. Commitment to ambitious goals is the truest sign of optimism. I like working with people that believe we can have impact where it’s needed and are willing to do the hard work to make it happen.
What were you like in high school? I really liked school, learning, and working hard. I was involved in a lot of things; played the tuba in the marching band. In a streak of youthful rebellion, I grew long hair and a beard. I haven’t had a beard in 30 years.
What is one thing you always have with you? My sense of humor, and I should say, my sarcastic sense of humor. It’s been a trustworthy companion. It gets me in trouble all the time, but I also find that if people are laughing, they’re talking and you can connect with people much more easily.
Who’s a fictional character you identify with? Starbuck, the first mate from Moby Dick.
What’s the most influential book you’ve read? It’s usually the last book I read, which currently is The Meaning of Human Existence by Edmund O. Wilson. When I need inspiration, I tend to go back to the essay “Self-Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emmerson. It inspires me to see the world as it is, and not as I’d like it to be. It strips away the idea of convenience shaping how we see things.
What is your favorite vacation or travel spot? Italy or Napa valley for same reasons – food and wine.
Who fascinates you? My kids totally fascinate me. They inspire me because they don’t subject themselves to limitations based on what’s thought to be possible. They help me to question all sorts of assumptions.