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Maritime Administration


Maritime Administration

For the government agency of Latvia, see Maritime Administration of Latvia.
Maritime Administration
Seal of the U.S. Maritime Administration
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Flag of the U.S. Maritime Administration
Agency overview
Formed May 24, 1950
Preceding Agency Maritime Commission
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Agency executive David Matsuda, Administrator
Parent agency Department of Transportation

The United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) is an agency of the United States Department of Transportation that maintains the National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF) as a ready source of ships for use during national emergencies, and assists the NDRF in fulfilling its role as the nation's fourth arm of defense, logistically supporting the military when needed.

David T. Matsuda[1] was sworn as the Maritime Administrator on June 25, 2010. The Administrator is also the Chairperson of the Maritime Subsidy Board, Commandant of the United States Maritime Service, and Director of the National Shipping Authority.


When the United States Maritime Commission was abolished on 24 May 1950, its functions were split between the Federal Maritime Board which was responsible for regulating shipping and awarding subsidies for construction and operation of merchant vessels, and Maritime Administration, which was responsible for administering subsidy programs, maintaining the national defense reserve merchant fleet, and operating the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

In 1961, the Federal Maritime Board regulatory functions were assumed by the newly created Federal Maritime Commission, while the subsidy functions were assigned to the Maritime Subsidy Board of the Maritime Administration.

On August 6, 1981, MARAD came under control of the Department of Transportation thereby bringing all transportation programs under one cabinet-level department.


MARAD administers financial programs to develop, promote, and operate the U.S. Maritime Service and the U.S. Merchant Marine; determines services and routes necessary to develop and maintain American foreign commerce and requirements of ships necessary to provide adequate service on such routes; conducts research and development activities in the maritime field; regulates the transfer of U.S. documented vessels to foreign registries; maintains equipment, shipyard facilities, and reserve fleets of Government-owned ships essential for national defense.


David Matsuda, Maritime Administrator

Paul Jaenichen, Deputy Maritime Administrator

Franklin Parker, Chief Counsel

Cheron Wicker, Director, Congressional and Public Affairs

Kevin Tokarski, Associate Administrator, National Security

Rear Admiral James Helis, USMS, Superintendent, United States Merchant Marine Academy

Dr. Sashi Kumar, Academic Dean, United States Merchant Marine Academy

Keith Washington, Associate Administrator, Administration

Joseph Byrne, Associate Administrator, Environment and Compliance

H. Keith Lesnick, Associate Administrator, Intermodal System Development

George M. Zoukee, Associate Administrator, Business and Finance Development

Maritime academies

MARAD operates one federal service maritime academy, and administers a Grant-In-Aid Program for state-operated maritime academies, as follows:

Classification Name Location Notes
Federal US Merchant Marine Academy Kings Point, New York One of the United States Service academies
State California Maritime Academy Vallejo, California A campus of the California State University
State Maine Maritime Academy Castine, Maine
State Massachusetts Maritime Academy Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts
State Great Lakes Maritime Academy Traverse City, Michigan A division of Northwestern Michigan College
State SUNY Maritime College Bronx, New York A campus of the State University of New York
State Texas Maritime Academy Galveston, Texas A campus of the Texas A&M University System

Students at these academies can graduate with appropriate United States Coast Guard licenses (Mate or Engineer) if they choose to take the Coast Guard License exam, and may become commissioned reserve officers in any branch of the service when graduating from USMMA or a ROTC scholarship from one of the other maritime schools.


The Maritime Subsidy Board negotiates contracts for ship construction and grants operating-differential subsidies to shipping companies.

Maritime Security Program

The Maritime Administrator is vested with the residual powers of the Director of the National Shipping Authority, which was established in 1951 to organize and direct emergency merchant marine operations.

The Maritime Security Program (MSP) authorizes MARAD to enter into contracts with U.S.-flag commercial ship owners to provide service during times of war or national emergencies. As of 2007, ten companies have signed contracts providing the MSP with a reserve of sixty cargo vessels.[2]

Past leadership

Sean Connaughton, Administrator and current Virginia Secretary of Transportation

John Jamian, Acting Administrator and former Michigan State Representative

Captain William Schubert, Administrator

Clyde J. Hart, Administrator and former Administrator of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Albert J. Herberger, Administrator and retired Vice Admiral United States Navy

Captain Warren Lebeck, Administrator

John Gaughan, Administrator, current consultant with SAIC

Samuel Nemirow, Administrator, current Maritime Lawyer

Andrew E. Gibson, Administrator and Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Maritime Affairs, 1969-1972.

See also

Government of the United States portal
Nautical portal


External links

  • U.S. Maritime Administration web site
  • MARAD page in the U.S. Naval Vessel Register
  • Papers of Louis S. Rothschild (Administrator of the United States Maritime Administration 1953-1955), Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library

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