Monroe Township-based Ocean Power Technologies recently announced that Rear Admiral Victorino “Vic” Mercado (retired) has been retained as a special advisor to the company’s board of directors.
“We are pleased that Admiral Mercado has agreed to share his expertise with us as a special advisor and consultant to the Board,” Terence Cryan, chairman of the board said. “As Vic consults with us, his deep security, strategy, and operational experience from his more than 35-year career in the U.S. Navy and service at the Department of Defense will be invaluable as we build on our momentum in providing intelligent maritime solutions to the U.S. Government and defense and security sectors, and carefully navigate the challenges of securing access to and protecting highly sensitive and confidential information”
Mercado said, “I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as an advisor to the OPT Board and am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for the business. I look forward to assisting the Company in advancing its long-term growth strategy.”
Mercado served as U.S. assistant secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities from July 2019 to January 2021, after being confirmed by the U.S. Senate. In this role, he was a principal advisor to the U.S. Department of Defense on national security and defense strategies, and the plans and future capability investments required to implement the strategies. From January until July 2019, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Plans and Posture. Prior to serving in the U.S. Department of Defense as a senior civilian, Mercado served 35 years in the U.S. Navy and retired as a two-star Rear Admiral. His naval career included a range of senior command and staff positions.
His last tour on active duty from September 2016 to August 2018 was as director of Maritime Operations for the U.S. Pacific Fleet where he managed the daily Navy operations within the world’s largest naval area of responsibility – encompassing the West Coast of the U.S. outward to the Indian Ocean.
Mercado’s other flag officer tours include Deputy Director, Surface Warfare Division (N96B) and Director, Assessments Division (N81) on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations, Vice Director, Strategy, Plans, and Policy at U.S. Central Command and command of Carrier Strike Group 8.
His military career includes a broad variety of significant assignments. In the Navy, he commanded Destroyer Squadron 21 and also USS DECATUR (DDG 73) where he was a member of the first aircraft carrier strike group to deploy from the U.S. in response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
On the Joint Staff, he served as the Joint Staff lead in the Joint Chiefs of Staff Strategy Group, as Assistant Deputy Director of Global Strategic Partnerships (J-5), as Executive Assistant to the Director of Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5), and Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
He also served as a National Defense Fellow for Senator Edward M. Kennedy and as the military assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense.
Mercado is a National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Certified Director and is a member (since July 2021) of the Board of Directors of Momentus Inc (NASDAQ: MNTS) where he chairs the Nominating and Corporate Governance and Security Committees of the Board. He is also a Partner with IBM Federal Defense Consulting.