Jonathan Deason

jon deason

Jonathan Deason

Professor & co-Director, Environmental & Energy Management Institute

School: School of Engineering and Applied Science


Office Phone: 202-994-4827
Science & Engineering Hall 800 22nd Street, NW Washington DC 20052

Elected Offices in Professional Societies

  • Member, Executive Committee, Renewable Natural Resources Foundation, 1996-1999
  • Member, Board of Directors, Renewable Natural Resources Foundation, 1995-1999
  • Member, Board of Trustees, American Society of Civil Engineers Scholarship Trust, 1992-1993
  • President, National Capital Section, American Society of Civil Engineers (1990-1991). Vice President (1989-1990); Director (1986-1988); Chairman, Technical Division (1985-1986); Chairman, Water Resources Committee (1984-1985)
  • Member, Board of Directors, American Water Resources Association, 1988-1991
  • Chairman, Water Policy and Management Committee, American Water Resources Association, 1987-1988
  • Chairman, Economics and Finance Committee, Water Resources Planning and Management Division, American Society of Civil Engineers, 1987-1988
  • Secretary, Executive Committee, Water Resources Planning and Management Division, American Society of Civil Engineers, 1984-1985

Appointments and Licenses

  • Member, International Scientific Committee, 3d International Congress on Environmental Planning and Management (Climate Change and Environmental Planning), 2009
  • Member, International Scientific Committee, Urbenviron International Association for Planning and Environmental Management, 2007-2008
  • Member, National Review Panel on Environmental Streamlining , U.S. Federal Highway Administration, 2001-2004
  • Member, EPA Advisory Committee on Effluent Limitation Guidelines, 2001-2004
  • Member, Committee on Upper Mississippi River—Illinois Waterway System, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences/National Academy of Engineering, 2000-2001
  • Member, EPA Storm Water Phase II Federal Advisory Committee, 1995-1999
  • Member, National Response Team, 1989-1994
  • Member, Catastrophic Disaster Response Group, 1989-1994
  • Chairman, Federal Agency Liaison Committee, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology and Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences, 1990-1991
  • Chairman, Federal Agency Liaison Committee, Water Science and Technology Board and Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Resources, National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences, 1985-1990
  • Licensed Professional Engineer, Commonwealth of Virginia, 1978-present

Journal Service

  • Member, Editorial Advisory Board, Federal Facilities Environmental Journal, 1997-2007
  • Member, Editorial Board, Environmental Engineering and Policy, 1997-2000
  • Manuscript Reviewer, Water Resources Bulletin, 1983-1994
  • Manuscript Reviewer, Journal of the Water Resources Planning and Management Division, ASCE, 1986-1990
  • Manuscript Reviewer, Large Scale Systems, 1985-1990
  • Manuscript Reviewer, Automatica, 1986-1987
  • Manuscript Reviewer, IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man & Cybernetics, 1984-1987

Jonathan Deason was appointed Lead Professor of the Environmental and Energy Management Program at the George Washington University in August 1996.

Before joining GW, Deason was Vice President for Environmental and Educational Affairs at the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (1994-1996), a federation of 5,000 companies, public agencies and universities engaged in transportation construction.

Before that, he was Director of the Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance at the U.S. Department of the Interior (1989-1994) where he managed nine regional offices across the nation and seven staff divisions in Washington, D.C.  He was responsible for ensuring that Interior's 81,000 employees complied with environmental laws and regulations in managing 20 percent of the surface area of the United States.

Prior to that position, Deason served as Manager of the National Irrigation Water Quality Program in the Interior Department (1986-1989), where he directed a team of about 200 multi-disciplinary specialists engaged in responding to irrigation-induced contamination problems across the western states.  From 1984 to 1986, he was the Special Assistant for Water Resources to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) where he helped manage the Army Corps of Engineers.

Before that, he served in the Interior Department as a Senior Policy Analyst in the Office of the Secretary from 1982 to 1984, and as Chief of the Water Resources Program of the Bureau of Indian Affairs from 1978 to 1982.  Prior to that, he served with the Army Corps of Engineers as both a civilian and a military officer for eight years. He also served a 30-year Reserve career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, where he served as the Corps' Chief of Staff for the final six years of that career.

Deason holds a Ph.D. degree in environmental systems engineering from the University of Virginia, an M.S. degree in environmental engineering from the Johns Hopkins University, an M.B.A. degree in management from Golden Gate University, and a B.S. degree in engineering from the U.S. Military Academy.

He has served on the national boards of directors of the American Water Resources Association and the Renewable Natural Resources Foundation, and as President of the National Capital Section, American Society of Civil Engineers.

In his academic career to date, Deason has taught more than 150 graduate and undergraduate courses related to environmental and energy management at the George Washington University, the Catholic University of America, and the University of Maryland. He has authored more than 120 professional papers dealing with environmental and energy issues and has received 13 sponsored research grants totaling more than half a million dollars. 

Deason is a licensed Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia and has received a number of awards including the 1984 Arthur S. Flemming Award for work related to improving utilization of the Nation's water resources, the 1992 Department of the Interior Federal Engineer of the Year Award, the 1992 Founder's Medal of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) and selection as the NSPE Federal Engineer of the Year, the 1993 Engineering Achievement Award of the Virginia Engineering Foundation, a 1993 Executive Rank Award from the President of the United States, a 1999 Exemplary Service Award  from the Renewable Natural Resources Foundation and a 2012 Service Excellence Award from The George Washington University.

Current Research

Renewable energy; environmental sustainability; alternative fuel vehicles; energy policy; decision aiding; multi-objective optimization; hydrogen economy; environmental management; water resources


Ph.D., Environmental Systems Engineering, Department of Systems Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, January 1984

M.S., Environmental Engineering, Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, May 1978

M.B.A., Management, School of Business Administration, Golden Gate University, San Francisco, CA, May 1975

B.S., Engineering, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY, May 1970


Castillo, A.S. and Deason, J.P., "Determination of Solar Energy Transition Potential of Department of Defense Facilities and Non-Tactical Vehicles, Environmental Practice (submitted August 1, 2010).

Deason, J.P., Dickey, G.E., Kinnell, J.C. and Shabman, L.A. "An Integrated Planning Framework for Urban River Rehabilitation," Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management (submitted June 8, 2008, accepted January 26, 2010, published online April 8, 2010, print version pending).

Somma, D., Lobkowicz, H. and Deason, J.P. "Growing America's Fuel: An Analysis of Corn and Cellulosic Ethanol Feasibility in the United States," Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy, Volume 12, Number 4 (2010), pp. 373-380.

Deason, J.P., Restoring Contaminated Urban Rivers Using an Intergovernmental, Public-Private Approach," Management of Environmental Quality, Volume 20, Issue 6 (2009), pp. 649-657.

Helwig, M. and Deason, J.P., "The Energy Policy Act of 1992 and Executive Order 13149: Proposed Compliance Strategies and Process Improvements for Federal Agencies," Energy Policy Journal, Volume 35, Number 5 (2007), pp. 2912-2924.

Verduzco, Laura E., Duffey, M.R. and Deason. J.P., "H2Power: Development of a Methodology to Calculate Life Cycle Costing of Small and Medium-Scale Hydrogen Systems," Energy Policy Journal, Volume 35, Number 3 (2007), pp. 1808-1818.

Yuzugullu, E. and Deason, J.P, "Structuring Objectives to Facilitate Convergence of Divergent Opinion in Hydrogen Production Decisions," Energy Policy Journal, Volume 35, Number 1 (2007), pp. 452-460.

Deason, J.P., Burns, J.B. and Dickey, G.E., "Restoring Degraded Urban Rivers: To Whom Should We Look for Payment?" Federal Facilities Environmental Journal, Volume 17, Number 1 (Spring 2006), pp. 79-95.

Hall, S.W., Carolla, M.A. and Deason, J.P., "The Use of Imagery in Environmental Disaster Preparedness and Response," Federal Facilities Environmental Journal, Volume 16, number 4 (Winter 2006), pp. 65-72.

Deason, J.P., “Natural Resource Trustee Partnering in the Urban River Restoration Initiative,” Federal Facilities Environmental Journal, Volume 14, Number 4 (Winter 2004), pp. 45-59.

Deason, J.P., Schad, T.M., and Sherk, G.W. "Water Policy in the United States: A Perspective," Water Policy Journal, Volume 3, Number 3 (2001), pp. 175-192.

Deason, J.P. and Taylor, W.R., Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration: The Outlook for Federal Facilities, Federal Facilities Environmental Journal , Vol. 8, No. 4 (Winter 1998), pp. 49-61.

Deason, J.P., Cothern, C.R., and Tsongas, J.P., Sick Buildings: What Have We Learned and What Can be Done?, Environmental Engineering and Policy , Vol. 1, No. 1 (July 1998), pp. 37-46.

Deason, J.P., Toward Improved Highway Quality: Lessons from Western Europe, Journal of Management in Engineering, Vol. 14, No. 1 (January 1998), pp. 81-86.

Deason, J.P., and Corl, C., Toward Protection of the Marine Environment: Uniform National Discharge Standards for Military Vessels, Federal Facilities Environmental Journal, Vol. 8, No. 2 (Summer 1997), pp. 49-59.

Deason, J.P., Changing World Attitudes on Environmental Values and Sustainability: Implications for Educational Institutions, Renewable Resources Journal, Vol. 14, No. 1 (Winter 1996-1997), pp. 6-11.

Deason, J.P., Irrigation-Induced Contamination: How Real a Problem? Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, Vol. 115, No. 1 (February 1989), pp. 9-20.

Deason, J.P. and White, K.P., Specification of Objectives by Group Processes in Multiobjective Water Resources Planning, Water Resources Research, Vol. 20, No. 2 (February 1984), pp. 189-196.

To see Professor Deason's full Curriculum Vitae, please click here: Deason C.V. 


Policy Research Scholar (2003-2005), George Washington Institute for Public Policy

Exemplary Service Award (1999), Renewable Natural Resources Foundation

Permanent Academic Tenure (1998), The George Washington University

Meritorious Executive Rank Award (1993), Office of the President of the United States

Engineering Achievement Award (1993), Virginia Engineering Foundation

Founder's Medal & Federal Engineer of the Year (1992), National Society of Professional Engineers

Federal Engineer of the Year (1992), U.S. Department of the Interior

Meritorious Service Medal (1989), Department of the Interior

Meritorious Service Award (1988), American Society of Civil Engineers

Exceptional Service Award (1985), Department of the Army

Special Act Award (1985), Department of the Army

Arthur S. Flemming Award (1984), Junior Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C.

Exceptional Service Award (1984), Department of the Army


Professional Societies:

American Society of Civil Engineers, Fellow
American Society of Engineering Management, Member
American Water Resources Association, Member

Classes Taught

Course Director:

EMSE 220 - Policy Factors in Environmental and Energy Management

EMSE 221 - Environmental Management

EMSE 222 - Energy Management

EMSE 223 - Air Quality Management

EMSE 224 - Analytical Tools in Environmental Management

EMSE 225 - Hazardous Waste Management

EMSE 226 - Water Quality Management

EMSE 227 - Analytical Tools in Energy Management

EMSE 292.1 - Environmental Security

EMSE 292.2 - Envitonmental Auditing

EMSE 292.3 - Emerging Technologies in Environmental and Energy Management