President Donald Trump hs appointed Michael A. Khouri, a master mariner and a veteran of inland operator American Commercial Lines, to the position of acting chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC).
Khouri was named to the commission by former president Barack Obama in 2009, who renominated him to a five-year term in 2011 and again in 2016. He has been in the industry for more than four decades, and has served on the boards of the American Waterways Operators (AWO) and the Waterways Council. Khouri's previous comments indicate that he values factual evidence, precedent, careful deliberation and respect for commercial agreements when considering regulatory action.
According to his official biography, Khouri began his career as a deck crewman for Kentucky-based Crounse Corporation, where he worked up in rank with service in the engine room and then into the wheelhouse as pilot and captain. He then served for twenty-three years with American Commercial Lines, the largest U.S. inland marine company, holding executive positions including general counsel and secretary, SVP for law and corporate Affairs and SVP for transportation services-marine operations. Khouri then joined MERS/Economy Boat, serving as president and COO, before moving home to Louisville to join the law firm of Pedley & Gordinier.
Khouri received his BA in economics from Tulane University and his JD from the Brandeis School of Law-University of Louisville. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.
Khouri takes up the post of acting chairman from incumbent Mario Cordero. Cordero, a Democrat, may remain as a commissioner until the end of his term in mid-2019. The term of Commissioner Dan Maffei, a Democrat and another Obama appointee, expires in mid-2017. If Maffei is replaced by President Trump, the five-person commission will swing from a Democratic to a Republican majority.