Command - Sector Commander
Captain Kate Higgins-Bloom reported as the Deputy Commander of U.S. Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay in June 2022, where she oversees more than 815 active duty, reserve, and civilian personnel; 2,100 Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteers, and 17 Coast Guard field units. Sector Delaware Bay is responsible for all Coast Guard missions – ranging from search and rescue to securing a marine transportation system that contributes over $88 billion annually to the U.S. economy - across much of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and all of Delaware out to 200 miles offshore.
CAPT Higgins-Bloom was most recently the Chief of the Office of Emergency Management and Disaster Response (CG-OEM), which sets service wide policy and doctrine for Coast Guard emergency manamgent and incident response. Just prior to assuming leadership of CG-OEM, CAPT Higgins-Bloom was a member of the Coast Guard’s Office of Emerging Policy (CG-DCO-X). At DCO-X she led the Service’s strategic foresight program, Project Evergreen, and spearheaded the creation of enterprise strategies such as the 2019 Coast Guard Arctic Strategic Outlook and the 2020 tri-service maritime strategy “Advantage at Sea.” Previous staff tours include Executive Fellow at the Brookings Institution and Acting Chief of Staff for the DHS Office of Legislative Affairs. As a White House Fellow in the Executive Office of the President, she built national public-private partnerships to overcome veteran employment and mental health challenges.
CAPT Higgins-Bloom has held a variety of operational leadership roles afloat and ashore. She most recently led the Sector Hampton Roads Command Center to coordinate over 1200 “all hazards” maritime responses by 35 different government agencies, saving 713 lives and safeguarding more than $95 billion in commerce. She also served as Incident Management Chief at Sector Boston, coordinating interagency maritime safety and security operations from Boston Harbor to the high seas. Afloat, she commanded USCGC BARANOF (WPB-1318) during a yearlong deployment in the Arabian Gulf in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom. She also served as Executive Officer of USCGC TYBEE (WPB-1330) and deck watch officer on USCGC BEAR (WMEC-901). CAPT Higgins-Bloom has also deployed with incident management teams to oil spills and presidential inaugurations; serving as an action officer for the Principal Federal Official for Hurricane Katrina and on the initial command staff for the unprecedented rapid resettlement of more than 75,000 at risk Afghans to the United States (Operation Allies Welcome).
CAPT Higgins-Bloom graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, and from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2011 with a Master of Public Administration. She recently completed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar XXI, the Johns Hopkins SAIS National Security Scholars and Practitioners Program, and the DHS Executive Leaders Program. Her military decorations include the Coast Guard Legion of Merit, the Coast Guard Meritorious Service Medal, the Coast Guard Commendation Medal, the Coast Guard Achievement Medal, and numerous Unit and Service awards.