Ken Venuto started his career in the federal government as a cadet at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1969, where he graduated with high honors 4 years later as an Ensign in the Coast Guard with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics. Besides his undergraduate degree, he earned a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts in 1978. He is also a distinguished graduate of the National War College, earning a Masters Degree in National Security Studies in 1994. In addition, he completed a United States and Russian military executive development program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2001.
He spent 33 years as a commissioned officer in the Coast Guard achieving the rank of Rear Admiral. He served 13 years in operational assignments, and eleven of those years were spent on board 7 cutters, 3 of which he commanded. Ken also served 17 years in various human resources assignments with the Coast Guard. He culminated his military career as Assistant Commandant for Human Resources in August 2006. He culminated his operational assignments as Director of Operations Policy, where he was responsible for a wide range of programs including search and rescue, counter-narcotics operations, migrant interdiction, fisheries law enforcement and marine mammal protection, homeland security, aids to navigation, domestic and international icebreaking, defense operations, recreational boating safety, and bridge administration.
Ken also served 17 years in various human resources assignments with the Coast Guard. He culminated his military career as Assistant Commandant for Human Resources in August 2006. In that capacity, he was responsible for the leadership and management oversight of all aspects of the human resources system and infrastructure supporting Coast Guard active duty, reserve, civilian, retired and Auxiliary personnel. This included recruiting, retaining, training, developing, assigning, and providing appropriate pay, benefits and medical care for all elements of the workforce and their families.
During his career in the Coast Guard, Ken earned numerous personal awards including the Distinguished Service Medal, 3 Legions of Merit, 3 Meritorious Service Medals, 4 Commendation Medals, and an Achievement Medal.
After retiring from the Coast Guard, Ken accepted a Senior Executive Service position with the Environmental Protection Agency as Director of the Office of Human Resources and Deputy Chief Human Capital Officer. He spent 2 years with the Environmental Protection Agency before accepting a Senior Executive Service position with the Department of Energy in November 2008. While at the Environmental Protection Agency among many other things, he was responsible for that Agency receiving OPM full certification of its Senior Executive Service Pay and Performance Management System, achieving a green in status for its Human Capital Management System on the President's Management Agenda, moving to consolidated human resources service centers, and successfully implementing electronic Official Personal Folders.