April 23, 2018
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MMA narrows presidential search to 2 Mainers


CASTINE, Maine — The Maine Maritime Academy presidential search committee has selected two finalists with strong maritime backgrounds for the executive post at the college, according to a press release.

They are William J. Brennan, a former the assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and former administrator of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, and Jeffrey W. Monroe, an adviser to the secretary for the Department of Homeland Security for maritime safety issues.

The two men will visit the campus this fall to participate in forums with constituent groups.

Brennan and Monroe, both Maine residents, were selected from more than 50 applicants in a nationwide executive search. The search was conducted by a nine-member search committee that consisted of trustees, alumni, faculty, staff and students. The search began earlier this year after longtime president Leonard H. Tyler announced that he would retire at the end of this academic year.

Brennan is an authority on environmental policy relating to oceans, the atmosphere and maritime issues. In addition to his posts at the Department of Commerce and NOAA, he has served as commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources and as the director of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, managing the government-supported research of 13 federal agencies and White House offices. He began his career at sea in the Merchant Marine, working in both the deck and engine departments, and as a fisherman in Maine’s commercial fisheries.

Brennan earned a doctorate in ecology and environmental sciences at the University of Maine, a master’s degree in marine affairs from the University of Rhode Island, and a bachelor’s degree in marine biology from the University of Maine. He is also the recipient of an honorary doctor of science degree from the University of Rhode Island.

He is a Senior Fellow at the University of Massachusetts-Boston McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies, a Senior Scholar at the University of Maine School of Law, and a Presidential Professor of Environmental Policy with joint appointment at the University of Maine’s School of Marine Sciences and the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center. He has served as the Sawyer Professor of Ocean Studies at Maine Maritime Academy.

Monroe is a maritime, aviation, transportation and port consultant engaged in transportation planning and development. He is vice president of Transportation Services North America at the MacDonnell Group of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and a senior transportation consultant with HDR of Boston.

Monroe is the former director of the Department of Ports and Transportation for Portland, where he supervised the development and operations of the port of Portland, Portland International Jetport and Greater Portland surface transportation programs.

Before joining the city he was deputy port director for the Massachusetts Port Authority, director of the Center for Maritime Training and associate professor at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, executive director of the Governor’s Commission on Commonwealth Port Development under Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, and assistant professor and first director of the Center for Simulated Marine Operations at the State University of New York Maritime College. His professional experience also includes positions as director of marine operations for Oceanic Marine Management and all capacities as deck officer, including master, in the U.S. Merchant Marine.

Monroe is a 1976 graduate of Maine Maritime Academy. He earned a master’s degree at the State University of New York in transportation management. He also holds an Unlimited Master Mariner’s license and has numerous professional certifications. Monroe serves as an advisor to the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security on the national committee responsible for maritime security. Until recently, he was the chairman of the Secretary’s Navigation Safety Advisory Council, or NAVSAC, reporting to the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.

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