Barbara Higgins has nearly 30 years of experience in multi-channel operations, market research, brand management and leadership. Her experience includes managing operations across diverse cultures in the Americas, Asia, and Europe.
Today, Higgins is the chief customer officer for Duke Energy, one of the largest electric power holding companies in the U.S., where she is responsible for leading a team to design end-to-end strategies for measurement, valuation and improvements in the customer experience for residential and commercial clients.
Previously, she originated the chief customer officer position at Allstate Insurance Company, creating a new team to derive insights and drive changes in the end-to-end customer experience. She also created an industrial engineering practice to support operational performance, leading her team to develop an end-to-end view of the customer experience and integrated multi-channel strategy.
She also originated the role of vice president, Customer Experience at United Airlines, where she led digital and contact center functions and drove significant operational improvements through engagement with employees worldwide. She has served in various executive positions at The Walt Disney Company for more than 18 years, including international assignments as vice president, Operations Integration and Planning at Disneyland Paris, and director, Operations Task Force for Hong Kong Disneyland.
Higgins earned a bachelor’s of science from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, where she ran cross country and track competitively, earning All-East and All-Ivy honors in track & field. She earned an MBA from the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business.
In addition to serving on DeVry University’s Board of Trustees, Higgins serves on the board of the EMPLOYERS, Lycée Français de Chicago and the Lincoln Park Zoo. She was selected to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Emerging Leader Program from 2009 – 2011. She has been a frequent guest lecturer for Cornell University’s Hotel School, and has been featured as a keynote speaker in customer experience and customer service conferences.