July 18, 2003

Gaughan heads for Iraq
John A. Gaughan, Vice President of Government Affairs of the American Maritime Congress (AMC) and U.S. Maritime Administrator during the Reagan Administration, has been appointed by the U.S. Department of Defense as the Principal Maritime Advisor to the Iraq Ministry of Transportation and Communications.

Gaughan, who is expected to serve in his new post for 120 days, departed this week for Iraq with a U.S. transportation team of advisors headed by Ambassador Darrell Trent.

In the meantime, Gaughan has been granted a temporary leave of absence from the AMC. The AMC describes itself as "an educational and research group representing U.S.-flag vessel operating companies in the international and domestic trades that have collective bargaining agreements with the Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association."

Before joining AMC earlier this year, Gaughan served as President of the First American Bulk Carrier (FABC) Corporation in Washington. He also has more than 25 years of experience in a number of senior government posts at the White House, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Maritime Commission.

In Iraq,Gaughan's chief responsibility will be to get the maritime transportation system up and running again. He will be responsible for rebuilding Iraq's major port, the Port of Umm Qasr, the country's maritime infrastructure, freight handling terminals and other activities related to the marine business and ocean transportation through the port.

Initial plans call for Gaughan to locate in Basrah, where the Ministry's port authority is located. After an initial assessment of the capabilities of the Port of Umm Qasr, Gaughan will address critical and short term projects needed to revive the port thereby providing a gateway for goods flowing in and out of Iraq, as well as providing jobs for resident Iraqis.

Gaughan will also be joined by experts in the aviation, rail and highway industries in overseeing the intermodal movement of goods from container ports in the region.

Gaughan will report directly to Ambassador Trent, head of the U.S. transportation team, who in turn will report to L. Paul Bremer III, the occupation administrator who heads the U.S.-led post-war reconstruction program in Iraq. Gaughan will return to his AMC position at the end of his tour of duty.

"Reviving Iraq's maritime transportation system is one of our top priorities," Gaughan said. "Reconstitution of Iraq's foreign trade is a cornerstone of our Nation's effort to assist Iraq in rejoining the community of nations and restoring Iraq's domestic economy."

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