A native of Chatham, N.J., Vice Admiral Sullivan graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1974 with a bachelor of science degree in mathematics.
Vice Adm. Sullivan served on USS Detector (MSO 429) where he earned his Surface Warfare Qualification. After transferring to the Engineering Duty Officer Community, he served at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Naval Sea Systems Command, Supervisor of Shipbuilding in Groton, Conn. and on the staff of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition). During his engineering duty assignments Adm. Sullivan earned his Submarine Engineering Duty Officer Qualification.
Vice Adm. Sullivan holds dual degrees of Master of Science (Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering) and Ocean Engineer from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Sullivan served as program manager of the Seawolf-class Submarine Program (PMS 350) and the Virginia-class Submarine Program (PMS 450).
Upon selection to flag rank, Vice Adm. Sullivan served as Deputy Commander for Ship Design Integration and Engineering, Naval Sea Systems Command from 2001 to 2005.
Vice Adm. Sullivan became the 41st Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command in July 2005.