Thomas Higgins was the founding chief executive and is a director of Prosetta Corporation, a highly innovative biotechnology company focused on drug discovery and development, located in San Francisco, CA. He served as the president and CEO from 2003-2008. Prior to that, he was president and chief operating officer of Business for Social Responsibility. BSR is the leading global resource for businesses seeking to improve their performance in areas of corporate social responsibility, with over 700 member companies worldwide.
Higgins was previously a senior vice president of Edison International and its subsidiary, Southern California Edison. Edison is a $15 billion power generation and electric distribution company. During his career with the company, Higgins served on the management committee and helped to set overall strategy for the company. He had responsibility for several staff functions and was president of Edison Enterprises, an unregulated subsidiary.
After earlier career experience as a newspaper reporter and gubernatorial campaign manager, Higgins became the founder and executive director of a multi-service drug abuse treatment program in the Illinois-Iowa Quad Cities in the early 1970s. Subsequently, he was elected to the Iowa General Assembly at the age of 27, where he served three terms and was chairman of the Health and Human Resources Committee, authoring key legislative improvements.
Higgins received several appointments from President Carter, beginning as a senior executive at HEW and HHS, as regional director of HEW and later Associate Commissioner of the Social Security Administration. His service culminated as a presidential appointee on the White House Senior Staff, where he served as Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet. In the early 1980s he served as head of the Health and Social Services Department in Portland, Oregon, which pioneered new models of health care finance and delivery.
In 1983, he began his private sector career as founding Publisher and President of The Business Journal in Portland, published by American Cities Business Journals. Subsequently, Higgins became the co-founder and editor-in-chief of HealthWeek, a national newspaper covering health business news in the United States, published by CMP Publications.
In 1990, Higgins was recruited as a vice president of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Maryland. He was subsequently elected a Senior Vice President of the company, with broad responsibilities for operations and staff organizations at BC/BS, as well as its subsidiary holdings.
Higgins has a distinguished record of community service. He currently serves on the boards of directors of Tutor Corps and the 3rd Street Youth Center and Clinic in San Francisco. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of St. Ambrose University, in Davenport, Iowa, where he graduated cum laude in 1967.
Higgins is a member and former chairman of the board of SCAN Health Plan, a $1.5 billion not- for-profit Medicare Advantage Plan in Southern California. He also serves as chairman of the board of the SCAN Health Foundation, an independent philanthropy focused on reform of long term care financing and service delivery.