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Ed Kertis

Ed joined Dawson in November of 2012. He is responsible for customer relations and business development with our Federal and corporate partners. Dawson is a Native Hawaiian 8(a) small business with more than 20 years experience providing innovative and cost effective solutions to our clients across the globe. It is a subsidiary of the Hawaiian Native Corporation (HNC), a non-profit organization founded in February 2004 and controlled entirely by Native Hawaiians. HNC is recognized by the Department of Defense under federal statutory authority as a “Native Hawaiian Organization” (NHO) and is certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Ed graduated from Stetson University in Deland, FL, in 1984 with a B.S. in Biology and later earned a M.S. in Environmental Engineering Sciences from the University of Florida, majoring in wetlands ecology and hazardous waste management. He was a career Army officer, retiring as a colonel after 28 years of service. His military career included over a decade of command assignments in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), including the Pacific Ocean Division, supervising four districts in Alaska, Hawaii, and Asia; Savannah District and Walla Walla (WA) District of USACE; and engineer company commander in the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment – Delta. Ed has always been an out-of-the-box thinker and leader and has brought that spirit of innovation to Dawson.

Ed served as an environmental staff officer in the Portland District. His education as an environmental biologist prepared him well in managing the numerous environmental programs in USACE; he was Commander, North District, Gulf Region Division, Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom; he recently served as the deputy commander of the USACE Transatlantic Division in Kabul, coordinating over $12B in construction in support of coalition and Afghan forces; and in 2005 as the military advisor and chief of staff to the NATO Senior Civilian Representative for Afghanistan in Kabul, the former foreign minister of Turkey, Minister Hikmet Çetin.

Ed received numerous military decorations and awards over his career, including several Legions of Merit and Bronze Stars, the Master Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder Badge, and Ranger Tab. Ed is an avid surfer, snowboarder and sailor and frequently volunteers at beach cleanups and other activities. He and his wife actively support the Surfrider Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, and the Eddie Aikau Foundation. He is married to his high school sweetheart and his wife is an Army career counselor. Their children have chosen military careers; their son is an Infantry captain and their daughter is a Medical Service Corps lieutenant.