Peter F. Najera
As Praetorian's Chief Operating Officer, Pete is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the firm. He leads a team of associates committed to business process excellence in providing the best customer experience possible. Additionally, Pete plays a key role in overall strategy development and in maintaining the company’s hyper-growth trajectory as the firm scales up rapidly.
Previously, Pete served as VP of Operations at Enviva, which he helped build from a pre-revenue start-up with 10 employees to a $300 million international operation and the world’s largest biomass energy company. A recognized expert in Lean Thinking, Pete successfully established a culture of continuous improvement and built a high-performing team that achieved excellence in every corner of the enterprise. Prior to joining Praetorian, Pete served as COO at Sterling Foundation Management. Sterling is a multifaceted financial services and charitable planning firm with over $1.5 billion in assets under management. While there, Pete increased revenue 114% while growing the client base by 17%.
A former lieutenant colonel in the US Army with Airborne and Ranger training, Pete honed his leadership and critical thinking skills as a combat veteran in adverse and high-pressure conditions around the world, including the DMZ in Korea, the Cold War border between East and West Germany, Operation Desert Storm in Iraq, and the Green Line in Cyprus. He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Valorous Unit Award for his combat service.
Most notably, Pete was appointed by the President as a White House Fellow, where he served as the Assistant to the Deputy United States Trade Representative. Pete has also been recognized with several national and regional leadership awards, including the prestigious MacArthur Leadership Award, the Draper Leadership Award, and Notre Dame’s Corby Award for distinguished government service. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Pete has served as a Young Leader Fellow in Britain, France, Austria, and Japan.
A trained strategist, Pete also served in the Pentagon as a Harvard Fellow and advisor to the Secretary of Defense. Pete earned his undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame and earned a master’s degree from Harvard University.