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Mr. Alberto Alemn Zubieta (Panama) Receives International Maritime Prize

The prestigious International Maritime Prize for 2008 has been presented to Mr. Alberto Alemán Zubieta, Administrator of the Panama Canal Authority, for his contribution to maritime safety, security and prevention of pollution from ships.

Mr. Alemán has degrees in Civil Engineering and Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M University and was Chief Executive Officer of one of Panama's largest construction companies before becoming, in 1996, Chief Executive Officer and Administrator of the Panama Canal Commission, the United States Government federal agency which administered the Canal until 31 December 1999. In 1998, he was appointed as the Panama Canal Authority's Administrator, a role which he performed simultaneously with that of Administrator of the Commission. He has led the Panama Canal Authority since it took over the running of the Canal in 2000.

Mr. Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, Secretary-General of IMO, presented the prize at a special ceremony held on 30 November 2009, during the 26th session of the IMO Assembly.

The International Maritime Prize is awarded annually by IMO to the individual or organization judged to have made the most significant contribution to the work and objectives of the Organization. The 102nd session of the IMO Council in June 2009 took the decision to award the prize to Mr. Alemán.

Previous winners of the prize since 2000:

2007 Mr. Jørgen Rasmussen (Denmark)
• 2006 (two prizes awarded) Mr. Alfred Popp (Canada) and, posthumously, Mr. Igor Ponomarev (Russian Federation)
• 2005 Dr. Tom Allan (United Kingdom)
• 2004 Mr. Luis Martínez (Mexico)
• 2003 Mr William O'Neil (Canada)
• 2002 Mr. Frank Wall (United Kingdom)
• 2001 Mr. Giuliano Pattofatto (Italy) (posthumously)
• 2000 Mr. Heikki Juhani Valkonen (Finland)