Rear Adm. James Downey is a native of New York. He graduated from the State University of New York, Albany with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Computer Science in 1986 and was commissioned in 1987. He earned a Master of Science in Computer Science from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California in 1997, followed by Engineering Duty Officer (EDO) School in Port Hueneme, California, where he graduated with distinction and received the Founder’s award.
He qualified as a surface warfare officer (SWO) on the USS Hayler (DD 997) in 1989. Additional operational assignments include intelligence briefing officer to the commander in chief, Combined Forces Command, U.S. Forces Korea (USFK), Seoul, Korea; and multiple deployments afloat in the North Atlantic, Baltic, Arctic Circle and Pacific.
Engineering duty officer (EDO) assignments include assistant program manager (APM) for surface and subsurface integration for GPS and Navigation Sensor System Interface programs, leading Tomahawk integration; chief engineer for high assurance systems at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and National Security Agency (NSA); officer in charge of Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), Yokosuka Japan; CVN 21 program chief engineer, principal assistant program manager (PAPM) and warfare systems director; CG(X) major program manager; and major program manager for the DDG 1000 program including delivery of the first ship of the class.
Downey assumed duties as the commander, Navy Regional Maintenance Center June 29, 2016 and as Naval Sea Systems Command deputy commander for surface warfare on July 1, 2016.
Downey’s awards include the Legion of Merit (two awards), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), the Meritorious Service Medal (two awards) and various other personal, unit and service awards.