Schoeneman Becomes Legislative Director

January 2011

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Brian W SchoenemanBrian W. Schoeneman has been brought aboard as the SIU’s legislative director.


Schoeneman is a veteran maritime lobbyist and political professional, with experience in both the public and private sectors. He most recently served as managing partner of Acacia Strategies LLC, a maritime-focused lobbying firm he founded in 2009.


He has previously served as special assistant and senior speechwriter to Bush Administration Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. At the Labor Department, he served as the secretary’s lead liaison to organized labor and as a member of her senior staff.


Prior to his appointment, he served as executive director of the American Maritime Congress from 2006 to 2008. From 2003 to 2006, he served first as assistant political director and later as government affairs director for the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (AFL-CIO). While at MEBA, he was responsible for both the legislative and political departments, and worked on a number of major pieces of legislation that benefited the maritime industry.


Speaking about the most recent Election Day, Schoeneman stated, “The 2010 elections were as jolting to Washington and to the maritime industry as any we have seen in decades. It is going to be critical that we educate this new generation of political leaders about our industry, particularly given the amount of noise made about the Jones Act. I’m looking forward to working with the entire SIU team in ensuring we keep the focus on jobs and growing the United State Merchant Marine.”


SIU Secretary-Treasurer David Heindel, who also chairs the Seafarers Political Activity Donation (SPAD), said, “Brian brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our Washington team. His enthusiasm and expertise will be vital in the upcoming Congress and I am confident that Brian will be a huge asset for our organization as he leads the efforts of the SIU legislative team. His contribution will be essential in defending our members’ interests – and in so doing, the interests of the U.S.-flag maritime industry.”

Schoeneman earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where he also earned a Master of Arts in political management. He will be wrapping up his law degree this May at the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, where he served on the Law Review during 2009-2010.

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