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Maine Maritime Academy Narrows Presidential Search

CASTINE, Maine, U.S.A. - The Maine Maritime Academy (MMA) presidential search committee has announced that it has selected two top contenders for the executive post at the Castine college. William J. Brennan and Jeffrey W. Monroe have been invited to visit the campus to explore their potential new role by participating in forums with various constituent groups.

Brennan and Monroe, both Maine residents, were selected from a candidate pool of more than 50 applicants resulting from a nationwide executive search. The search was conducted by a 9-member team appointed by the college’s Board of Trustees following the mid-February 2009 retirement announcement of long-time president, Leonard H. Tyler. The presidential search team consisted of college Trustee, alumni, faculty, staff and student representatives. The Board of Trustees hopes to name their presidential appointee later this year.

William J. Brennan is an authority on environmental policy relating to oceans, the atmosphere and maritime issues. He has served as the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, as Administrator of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a $4 billion federal agency with 12,500 employees, and as Commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources, a cabinet-level state agency. In addition, Brennan served for several years 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 Ph.D. degree in Ecology and Environmental Sciences at the University of Maine, an M.A. degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island, and a B.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.

Jeffrey W. 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, Canada, and a Senior Transportation Consultant with HDR of Boston. Monroe is the former Director of the Department of Ports and Transportation for the City of Portland, Maine, where he supervised the development and operations of the Port of Portland, Portland International Jetport and Greater Portland surface transportation programs. Prior to 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 Governor Weld of Massachusetts, 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 (NMSAC). Until recently, he was the chairman of the Secretary’s Navigation Safety Advisory Council (NAVSAC) reporting to the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.
The two candidates seek to fill the anticipated vacancy of president at Maine Maritime Academy following the nearly 15 year tenure of current MMA President Leonard Tyler. Tyler formally notified the Board of Trustees at their regular quarterly meeting held on February 13, 2009, of his intention to retire prior to the start of the 2010-2011 academic year and of his willingness to serve at the Board’s pleasure until a successor is in place. He said that his formal announcement came well in advance of his actual retirement as a courtesy to the Board, providing them with the time necessary to conduct an executive search.

Tyler has been president of the Castine-based maritime college since March of 1995. He currently holds the second longest term as president in the college’s history, placing immediately behind the 20-year presidency of Rear Adm. Edward A. Rodgers who served from 1964 to 1984.In Tyler’s announcement he noted his career commitment to the college, having served MMA for nearly 40 years, and said he has a fond sentimental attachment to the college. He emphasized his firm intention to turn the college over to a new president with its current strong enrollment, an international reputation for excellence, and multiple prospects for growth and maturation in academic and research areas. As president, his administration has been highlighted by the acquisition of a state-of-the-art training ship, by record enrollment, and by the completion of a $22 million capital campaign, the most extensive ever conducted by a maritime college.