Michael Morris

Former Director, Total Force Management, U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command. Largest seagoing direct-employer of credentialed U.S. merchant

After 29 years with the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command headquarters, Mr. Morris retired 31 December 2020 as Director of Total Force Management (member of Senior Executive Service), responsible for all people programs, including the following programs covering their 6,500 civil service mariners:

• Policy, strategic workforce planning, recruitment, schoolhouse training centers, merit promotion programs, rewards, accountability/discipline,
labor and employee relations, and crew rotations. Accountability included review of Command Investigations and Inspector General Investigations
for possible follow-on administrative actions.

Mr. Morris also had responsibility for delivery of human resource services to 1,300 civilian shore staff. He had past responsibility for Equal Employment Opportunity/Civil Rights programs and established the Command’s Sexual Assault Prevention Program Manager position. He led a shore staff of 130.

He managed an indirect-cost budget of $37 million; provided strategic direction to staff in developing annual budget proposals for unfunded requirements, and directed development of data-rich, compelling business cases.

Mr. Morris drove his organization’s adoption of navigation skill assessments for deck officers several years before the Navy’s Comprehensive Review made a similar recommendation for Navy Surface Warfare Officers. He also drove the roll-out of the first iteration of his organization’s contested environment tactical training and established training plans for new ship classes with unique training requirements. He implemented the Commander’s vision in developing a leader academy for senior ships’ officers and shore staff. He encouraged his staff to share Navy-unique curriculum with commercial vendors including union schools and certification of those schools to teach the curriculum.

He led the execution of a Command-wide reorganization to competency alignment, as well as the transfer of the Command’s headquarters to Norfolk and
the consolidation of two training centers into one.

He advised Commanders on strategic/competitive sourcing ship operation matters, such as public sector vs. private sector operation of new ship classes. Mr. Morris drafted or led the drafting of several legislative proposals to make Military Sealift Command operations more efficient and safer; two of those proposals became law as part of National Defense Authorization Acts.

Prior to joining the Military Sealift Command’s Total Force Management Directorate, Mr. Morris worked in new ship introduction and supported new ship construction programs as both a public sector employee and private sector contractor. He is a former U.S. Navy qualified Surface Warfare and retired Navy Reserve Commander, and licensed merchant marine deck officer (for continuity). In the private sector he also supported corporate business development efforts, working on a company bid team to develop bids in response to Requests For Proposals.

He earned a B.S. in Marine Transportation Management at State University of New York Maritime College and has completed post-graduate education and training through American University, Virginia Tech/Naval Sea Systems Command Institute and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

He has written for the U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings magazine and is recipient of the Navy’s Civilian Meritorious Service Medal and Civilian Superior Service Medal.

Mr. Morris is a member of the U.S. Naval Institute, National Defense Transportation Association, Mariners’ Museum, National Maritime Historical
Society, and other organizations.