Lieutenant Harkins is the Senior Policy Advisor for the United States Coast Guard, Reserve Forces Policy Board, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C. The Reserve Forces Policy Board serves as an independent adviser to the Secretary of Defense, providing advice and recommendations to the Secretary on strategies, policies, and practices designed to improve and enhance the capabilities, efficiency and effectiveness of the Reserve components. Lieutenant Harkins is concurrently assigned to the U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters Office of Reserve Affairs, Policy and Plans Division. She serves on staff as a Reserve Program Administrator providing subject matter expertise on Reserve personnel, mobilization, and readiness policies and procedures.
Lieutenant Harkins is a native of Clarkesville, GA and enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve in 1999. She served as a Marine Science Technician until she received her commission as an Officer in 2007. Prior to assuming her current duties, Lieutenant Harkins served as the Reserve Force Readiness (RFRS) Branch Chief within the Contingency Planning Force Readiness Department at Sector Columbia River, OR. She managed reserve policy and procedures for the Sector and its sub-units providing the Sector command with the tools to effectively meet unit reserve readiness and force management objectives. Prior to her RFRS assignment, Lieutenant Harkins served as a Planning Officer at Sector Puget Sound, WA assisting in the coordination and management of the Sector’s contingency preparedness program including preparation and maintenance of all-hazards contingency plans and exercises. In 2010 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Incident, Lieutenant Harkins was temporarily assigned to U.S. Coast Guard District Thirteen in Seattle WA, to coordinate and mobilize District reservists in support of Deepwater Horizon requests for forces. Her other military assignments include Sector Jacksonville, FL, Marine Safety Unit Savannah, GA, and Marine Safety Detachment American Samoa.
Lieutenant Harkins received her Bachelor of Science in Marine Science from Savannah State University. Prior to pursuing a full-time military career, Lieutenant Harkins worked as a Plant Licensing Specialist at the University of Georgia, Office of Technology Commercialization, and as a Marine Science Educator at Tybee Island Marine Science Center. Her military awards include three Coast Guard Achievement Medals, Coast Guard Commandant’s Letter of Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Coast Guard Good Conduct Medal, and other campaign and unit awards.