Texas A&M University at Galveston has selected Capt. Michael J. Rodriguez, the U.S. deputy maritime administrator, as the fifteenth superintendent of the Texas A&M Maritime Academy.
Rodriguez joined the Maritime Administration in 2014 from active duty as a Navy officer with the National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office. He brings over 37 years of public and private maritime industry experience to the maritime academy.
Rodriguez graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy and sailed for 17 years as a merchant marine deck officer. In 1995, he became an application engineer with Nautical Technology Corporation before returning to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy as an academy training representative in the Office of Professional Development and Career Services. Rodriguez was responsible for preparing midshipmen for shipboard assignments and the administration of the academy’s internship program. He also played important roles integrating the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping into the academy’s curricula.
In 2001, Rodriguez joined the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots as the executive assistant to the president, where he administered labor contracts and represented the organization and maritime labor in several national and international forums, including the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Labor Advisory Committee and the International Maritime Organization.
In 2009, Rodriguez began service at the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. During his term with the committee, Rodriguez worked on a wide range of national maritime issues including navigation, maritime safety and maritime security.
“Captain Rodriguez brings over 37 years of public and private maritime industry experience to the maritime academy,” said Dr. Douglas Palmer, interim chief operations officer of Texas A&M University at Galveston. “This experience and his proven leadership will continue the momentum of the Texas A&M Maritime Academy as the nation’s premier maritime academy.”
Rodriguez was raised in Blue Point, NY. In addition to his bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Maritime Academy, he earned a bachelor of arts degree in business from the University of Baltimore and an MBA from Dowling College in New York. He has a wife and two sons.
Dr. Palmer has been the interim leader of Texas A&M's maritime academy since June 1, 2016, when he stepped in following the retirement of Rear Adm. Robert Smith III. Smith was best known locally for his public support for the "Ike Dike," a flood protection system of dikes and gates that would help protect Galveston, Texas City and Houston from hurricane storm surge.