Professional Development
Business development / Hiring / Jobs

DC Power Moves: The US Navy has a new innovation director

Plus, NextNav gets a new COO, a climate tech company hires its first marketing director after millions in new funding, Quorum selects a new CFO and more.

Capt. Joel Uzarski. (Courtesy Defense Visual Distribution Service)
Power Moves is a column where we chart the comings and goings of talent across the region. Got a new hire, gig or promotion? Email us at

There have been a heavy handful of new hires in the DMV over the past few weeks. From local and federal government appointments to private companies, entities across the region are expanding leadership teams and calling on new executives. 

US Navy hires new director for innovation arm 

NavalX has a new director: Capt. Joel Uzarski, a Michigan native who was appointed to the position in April. 

The innovation division of the US Navy and Marine Corp, which launched in 2019, focuses on developing and launching new technology within the services organization. The branch also aims to bring in startups and small businesses to the US Navy to introduce new and emerging technology. 

Uzarski is a US Naval Academy graduate and surface warfare officer. Before this role, he worked at the Missile Defense Agency as the major program manager for Aegis BMD Weapon Systems, a high-tech sensor-equipped system built for missile defense. 

NextNav appoints a new COO

The 3D geolocation firm based in McLean hired Sanyogita Shamsunder as COO. In her new role, Shamsunder will be responsible for overseeing business development, strategy, software and operations at NextNav. 

Shamsunder has more than 20 years of experience in the tech and innovation space. She’s worked at large companies and startups, most recently Google and Verizon. She received an MBA from the Wharton School at Penn and a PhD in electrical engineering and math from the University of Virginia.

NextNav develops geolocation technology to complement typical GPS. One of its customers is NASA, where its services support the drone program. 

“NextNav’s commitment to mitigating national security risks, unleashing commercial opportunities and helping public safety with its solutions,” Shamsunder said in an announcement, “aligns perfectly with my passion for leveraging technology to drive meaningful change.” 

Climate tech company expands leadership team 

Hydrosat appointed Idris Habbassi its director of marketing, which is a new role at the firm. 

The climate tech company specializes in using thermal imagery to predict crop yields. Habbassi will be tasked with developing Hydrosat’s marketing strategy. 

“The company’s inspiring mission, its commitment to excellence in its solutions, and the impressive caliber of its leadership put it in a formidable position for the future,” Habbassi said. “I am honored and privileged to be part of a team dedicated to harnessing satellite technology to mitigate the effects of climate change and address the most pressing global issues.” 

Habbassi has more than a decade of experience in product strategy and management in the tech sector. Prior to joining Hydrosat, he worked at the data and analytics company Spire Global and the aerospace firm Safran. 

This appointment comes as Hydrosat received $22 million in new funding and a new contract from the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

More Power Moves: 

  • Caveonix, a multicloud security firm based in Falls Church, appointed Mark Bagley as its new chief product officer. 
  • Public affairs software company Quorum appointed a new CFO. Matt Williams previously served as an investor and a board observer. 
  • DC Mayor Muriel Bowser hired a new acting director, Clint Osborn, for the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency. 
  • The DC-based network security company Tidal Cyber announced the appointment of Jennifer Leggio as its new COO. 
  • Interos, a software development company based in Arlington, announced Ted Krantz as its new CEO. Additionally, Jennifer Bisceglie will serve as the new vice chair of its board of directors. 
  • V2X Inc., a prominent government contractor based in Tysons, appointed Jeremy Wensinger its new president and CEO, the Washington Business Journal reported.

This article has been updated to clarify the role of NextNav’s new appointment and its services. (5/14/2024, 1:30 p.m.) 

Companies: Quorum / District of Columbia / U.S. Government
Series: Power Moves

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