Dr. Michael J. Higgs grew up in Savannah, GA. In December 1977, he graduated from Armstrong State College as a Bachelor of Business Administration and was commissioned as an Ensign in the United States Naval Reserve through the Savannah State College Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps.
Dr. Higgs served on active duty for nearly 22 years as a Surface Warfare Officer and IT sub-specialist. His sea-going career consisted of tours of increasing responsibility aboard a variety of ship types and deploying staffs. His shore tours included service on the staff of the Commander, Mine Warfare Command, and Command of the Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Center, Charlotte, NC.
His final assignment was to the staff of the Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS), reporting aboard in Washington DC in May 1997, as Director, Reserve Information Resources Management (PERS-95). In that capacity Dr. Higgs participated in the planning and execution of the Bureau’s relocation to Millington, TN. Following the relocation, Dr. Higgs served as the Director, IT Plans, Programs and Requirements Division (PERS-35) and played a leading role in the creation of the Chief Information Officer’s Office where he was the Deputy Chief Information Officer (PERS-07B) until his retirement from active duty in October 1999. He then joined CACI, Inc. as a project manager until July 2001 when he re-entered Federal service as Deputy CIO, BUPERS (PERS-07B). Dr. Higgs served in that capacity until August 2007 when he assumed the role of Program Manager for the implementation of the National Security Personnel System (NSPS) and Director of the Strategic Plans and Implementation Office (BUPERS-02). Having completed the successful implementation of NSPS and the development and adoption of standardized practices for strategic and business planning for NAVPERSCOM, Dr. Higgs became the Deputy Assistant Commander, Navy Personnel Command for Business Operations (PERS-5) in March 2010.
Dr. Higgs assumed duties as Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Personnel/Deputy Commander, Navy Personnel Command in March 2020.
He earned his Doctor of Public Administration degree through Valdosta State University, as well as a Master’s degree in Business Administration and Computer Resources Management from Webster University, a Master of Public Administration from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.
In 2003 and again in 2009, Dr. Higgs was awarded the Department of the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award, the Navy’s second highest civilian award.
Dr. Higgs is a perpetual member and Past Commander of the Military Order of the World Wars and a life member and past President of Memphis Chapter, Military Officers Association of America. He is also a life member of the Naval War College Foundation. He is active in a number of ministries with Hope Presbyterian Church.