United States Maritime Administration

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United States Maritime Administration
Seal of the U.S. Maritime Administration
Flag of the United States Maritime Administration.svg
Flag of the U.S. Maritime Administration
Agency overview
FormedMay 24, 1950
Preceding agency
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Agency executives
Parent agency Department of Transportation
Website www.marad.dot.gov

The United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) is an agency of the United States Department of Transportation. MARAD administers financial programs to develop, promote, and operate the U.S. Maritime Service and the U.S. Merchant Marine. In addition it 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.


Its programs promote the use of waterborne transportation and its seamless integration with other segments of the transportation system, and the viability of the U.S. merchant marine. The Maritime Administration works in many areas involving ships and shipping, shipbuilding, port operations, vessel operations, national security, environment, and safety. The Maritime Administration is also charged with maintaining the health of the merchant marine, since commercial mariners, vessels, and intermodal facilities are vital for supporting national security, and so the agency provides support and information for current mariners, extensive support for educating future mariners, and programs to educate America's young people about the vital role the maritime industry plays in the lives of all Americans.


MARAD also maintains the National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF) as a ready source of ships for use during national emergencies and logistically supporting the military when needed.


When the United States Maritime Commission was abolished on May 24, 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.


Maritime Academies

The Maritime Administration collaborates extensively with stakeholders from all transportation sectors and modes in order to accomplish its mission to improve and strengthen the U.S. marine transportation system. MARAD operates one federal service academy and administers a Grant-In-Aid Program for six state-operated maritime academies:

Federal United States 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 A public post-secondary college and nautical training institution
State Massachusetts Maritime Academy Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts A regionally accredited, coeducational, state college
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 A&M Maritime Academy Galveston, Texas A branch campus of Texas A&M University

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 Administrators

AdministratorTerm startedTerm ended
Edward L. Cochrane August 8, 1950October 1, 1952
Albert W. Gatov October 2, 1952June 30, 1953
Louis S. Rothschild July 1, 1953February 25, 1955
Clarence G. Morse March 16, 1955May 1, 1960
Ralph E. Wilson July 1, 1960February 22, 1961
Donald W. Alexander October 9, 1961October 31, 1963
Nicholas Johnson March 2, 1964June 30, 1966
Andrew E. Gibson March 25, 1969July 6, 1972
Robert J. Blackwell July 7, 1972April 9, 1979
Harold E. Shear October 19, 1981May 31, 1985
John A. Gaughan November 26, 1985March 26, 1989
Warren G. Leback October 11, 1989January 20, 1993
Albert J. Herberger September 14, 1993June 30, 1997
Clyde J. Hart Jr. August 6, 1998May 21, 2000
William G. Schubert December 6, 2001February 11, 2005
Sean T. Connaughton September 6, 2006January 20, 2009
David T. Matsuda July 30, 2009June 4, 2013
Paul N. "Chip" Jaenichen July 25, 2014January 13, 2017
Mark H. Buzby August 3, 2017January 11, 2021
Ann C. Phillips May 16, 2022Present

See also

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  1. "About Us | MARAD".
  2. "Maritime Security Program (MSP)". MARAD. Retrieved August 3, 2007.