James F. Geurts was designated as performing the duties of the Under Secretary of the Navy Feb. 4, 2021. In this position, he serves as the deputy and principal assistant to the Secretary of the Navy, as well as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Management Officer for the Department of the Navy. Additionally, he oversees intelligence activities, intelligence-related activities, special access programs, critical infrastructure, and sensitive activities within the department.
He has over 30 years of extensive joint acquisition experience and served in all levels of acquisition leadership positions including Acquisition Executive, Program Executive Officer, and Program Manager of Major Defense Acquisition Programs.
Secretary Geurts previously served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development & Acquisition (ASN (RD&A)), from December 2017 to January 2021. As the Navy’s acquisition executive, Geurts had oversight of an annual budget in excess of $100 billion, ensuring procurement of platforms, systems and technologies designed to enhance the readiness and operability of Sailors and Marines serving around the globe in defense of the nation. Geurts previously served as the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Acquisition Executive, at MacDill Air Force Base (AFB), Florida, where he was responsible for all special operations forces acquisition, technology and logistics. During this timeframe he was recognized by both private and public institutions, earning the Navy Distinguished Public Service Medal, Presidential Rank Award, USSOCOM Medal, William Perry Award and Federal Times Vanguard Award for Executive of the Year.
Prior to Senior Executive Service, Secretary Geurts served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, retiring after 22 years of service. While in uniform, he served as an acquisition program manager with engineering and program management leadership positions in numerous weapon systems throughout his career.
Geurts is a distinguished 1987 ROTC graduate from Lehigh University where he received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He holds a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB and in National Security Resourcing from Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, Washington, D.C. Mr. Geurts also attended executive leadership and international studies programs at Harvard Kennedy School and George Washington Elliot School.
Last Updated: 6 April 2021