Senate Confirms Maritime Administrator


August 2014


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The U.S. Senate confirmed Paul “Chip” Jaenichen as U.S. maritime administrator on July 15. He had been serving as acting administrator since June 2013 and previously was the agency’s deputy administrator for a year.


Prior to his first appointment at the Maritime Administration (MARAD), which is part of the Department of Transportation, Jaenichen was a career U.S. Navy officer. He served 30 years and reached the rank of captain. Most of his time was spent stationed on nuclear submarines; his final assignment was as deputy chief of legislative affairs for the Navy from October 2010 to April 2012.


“Chip Jaenichen has been a real fighter for the U.S.- flag fleet,” said SIU President Michael Sacco. “He understands our industry’s needs. I am glad the Senate has confirmed him to lead the Maritime Administration.”


The American Maritime Partnership (to which the SIU is affiliated), a coalition considered the voice of the domestic maritime industry, also applauded the confirmation.


“AMP members appreciate Administrator Jaenichen’s understanding that a strong domestic maritime industry is critical for U.S. economic, national and homeland security and that this essential industry is best supported by maintaining the Jones Act, which serves as the foundation of the nation’s vibrant domestic maritime policy. We look forward to working with him to ensure that the American maritime sector can grow and thrive as we proudly continue our service to the nation,” said AMP Chairman Thomas A. Allegretti.


Jaenichen’s military awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (four awards), Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal (five awards) and the Navy- Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards).


In a speech last year at the AFL-CIO Maritime Trades Department convention, Jaenichen described people from all segments of the maritime industry as “the backbone of American prosperity. We are a maritime nation; that’s not ever going to change. The men and women that you support in the industry at sea and also those who work ashore to support those folks and everybody who’s earning an income to support their families – that’s what’s important and that’s why we’re here.”


More recently, at this year’s National Maritime Day observance in the nation’s capital, Jaenichen stated, “We have long depended on the contributions of our American merchant mariners and the maritime industry. They have enabled our nation to build economic strength, to provide vital sealift capability and the capability to support our armed forces and advance humanitarian missions worldwide. We will continue to rely on our commercial ships, our maritime infrastructure. Our mariners will rise to the task without fail and without any fanfare.”


MARAD’s functions include helping maintain a viable U.S. Merchant Marine.

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