William Brennan Selected as Next President of MMA

New President, previously served as Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and as Administrator of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). He is recognized as an authority on ocean environmental policy and maritime issues.

Castine, ME: The Maine Maritime Academy (MMA) Board of Trustees has selected Dr. William J. Brennan of Falmouth, Maine, to be the next president of Maine Maritime Academy. The announcement came shortly after the adjournment of a regular quarterly meeting of the Board of Trustees held earlier today in Castine. According to Victoria Larson, Chair of the Board of Trustees, it is anticipated that Brennan would take office sometime in May 2010.

"Dr. Brennan's professional commitment to national oversight and policy to protect, advance, and maximize the world's oceans is evident and impressive," said Larson. "We are fortunate that his enthusiasm for the sea and its creatures has translated into a career of service and an interest in furthering that service through Maine Maritime Academy. His in-depth understanding of marine environmentalism, international maritime based trade and commerce, and commercial fisheries provides a strong platform for leadership. Dr. Brennan has demonstrated an ability to engage and inspire our students, faculty, and staff." Brennan would succeed Leonard Tyler who has served as president of Maine Maritime Academy since 1995.

"I am humbled to be selected to lead the Maine Maritime Academy at this time in its proud history," Brennan said. "I am honored to give back to the college, which has given so much to me and to my family over so many years. I am gratified to have an opportunity to help advance the mission of the Academy to prepare young women and men to become the global ocean leaders of tomorrow. And I am thrilled to move back to the Town of Castine and to once again become a member of the community where I grew up."

Brennan was 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 invited Brennan and fellow presidential candidate, Jeffrey W. Monroe, to meet with them earlier this week to conduct final interviews. Each candidate had also visited the campus earlier this fall and participated in forums with various constituent groups.

Brennan, who was raised in Castine, 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.

Dr. Brennan has been selected to fill the anticipated vacancy of president at Maine Maritime Academy following the nearly 15 year tenure of current MMA President Leonard Tyler. "President Tyler's retirement announcement spoke volumes about his service to the Academy over the years," said Larson. "It was well-planned, considerate, and most of all, focused on the needs of the college. He has been a strong and popular leader among our students, faculty, and staff, and that is not an easy accomplishment. While expanding programming and facilities, increasing the number of women students on campus, and leading the college to consecutive years of maximum enrollment, he has galvanized this organization and a generation around seeing Maine Maritime Academy to global recognition as a leader in maritime education. As Trustees, we couldn't have asked for more."

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.