James “Hondo” Geurts currently serves as BENS Distinguished Fellow, after his retirement from performing the duties of the Under Secretary of the Navy – the Department’s number-two civilian. As Distinguished Fellow, Geurts provides strategic oversight for BENS’ work related to the nation’s future industrial base.
Geurts previously served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development & Acquisition, overseeing an annual budget of over $100 billion and equipping and supporting Sailors and Marines as they operate around the globe in defense of the United States. 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.
Prior to joining the Department of the Navy, Geurts served as Acquisition Executive for the United States Special Operations Command as a member of the Senior Executive Service. Geurts began his career as an Air Force officer where he served as an acquisition program manager with engineering and program management leadership positions in numerous weapons systems. Throughout his military and civilian careers, Geurts’ contributions have been recognized by both private and public institutions to include 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.