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Prof. Max Mejia Appointed Next President of World Maritime University

Max Mejia
Bio photo courtesy WMU

Published Feb 26, 2023 12:51 PM by The Maritime Executive

With the term of Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry expiring as the President of World Maritime University (WMU) this year, Professor Max Mejia has been selected to take over the position. The Secretary General of IMO Kitack Lim, WMU’s Chancellor, announced the decision this week following the completion of the selection process.

Prof. Mejia, a Philippines national, currently serves as WMU Director of the PhD program and Associate Academic Dean. Formerly, between 2013 and 2016, Prof. Mejia served as the Director General of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Philippines’ maritime sector regulator. During his tenure, Mejia was the chief architect and implementer of a comprehensive reform of the country’s maritime education, training and certification system. Previously, MARINA lacked a national standard for assessing seafarers’ competency.

Prof. Mejia studied political science at the United States Naval Academy and went on to obtain a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy at the Fletcher School at Tufts University. He is also a graduate of WMU, having received another Masters Degree in Maritime Safety Administration in 1994.

Professor Mejia is expected to take over as president of WMU in June, when Dr. Doumbia Henry’s term expires.

Based in Malmo, Sweden, WMU is IMO’s research and training arm, mandated to nurture highly educated maritime and ocean science leaders. It mainly offers post-graduate education. When WMU was founded in 1983, it was instrumental in promoting women’s empowerment in the maritime industry at a time when few maritime training institutes opened their doors to female students. It continues to support unfettered access to maritime training, especially for students from developing countries.

In 2021, TME’s print edition featured Dr. Doumbia-Henry, highlighting her remarkable legacy at WMU. Since joining WMU in 2015, Dr. Doumbia-Henry has helped to put the institution on a new course focused on climate change. Although the university was initially established to address the growing shortage of maritime professionals in the late 1990s, its role is shifting into providing leadership for maritime decarbonization.