President Trump names USMMA grad to lead U.S. Maritime Administration

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President Donald Trump named retired Navy Rear Adm. Mark Buzby, a 1979 U.S. Merchant Marine Academy alumnus and 34-year Navy veteran, to lead the U.S. Maritime Administration.

If confirmed by the Senate, Buzby would be the administrator of an agency, known as MARAD, within the U.S. Department of Transportation that also oversees the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point. As administrator, Buzby would create the agency’s policies, manage its activities, and advise Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao on maritime policy.

“RADM Buzby is a Kings Pointer who has worked closely with MARAD throughout his military and post-military career,” Joel Szabat, executive director of MARAD, said in a statement. “Once confirmed by the Senate, he will be able to hit the ground running as Administrator.”

Currently, Buzby is president and CEO of the National Defense Transportation Association. He also sits on the board of several maritime corporations.

Buzby served in the U.S. Navy for 34 years. He commanded the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command from 2009 to 2013, the USS Carney, Destroyer Squadron 31, Surface Warfare Officers School Command and Joint Task Force Guantanamo. He saw service in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Buzby also had “key positions on the Navy Staff, the Joint Staff, and several fleet staffs,” the White House said in a news release. He received the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Bronze Star and other military awards.

He graduated from Admiral Farragut Academy in 1975, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in 1979 and holds master’s degrees from the U.S. Naval War College and Salve Regina University in strategic studies and international relations.

Buzby’s nomination comes at a time of rough seas for the Merchant Marine Academy.

In June 2016 the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the school’s accrediting agency, said that its accreditation “may be in jeopardy because of insufficient evidence” of proper planning, leadership, governance and culture.

The school has also had ongoing issues regarding sexual harassment, assault and sexism. Most recently, several members of the school soccer team were barred from graduating due to an ongoing federal investigation regarding alleged sexual misconduct.

As a result of a lawsuit, a judge ruled that six of the seven students could walk in graduation but would not receive their diplomas.

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