MAY 13, 2013—U.S. Maritime Administrator David Matsuda will be stepping down later this month. Deputy Administrator Chip Jaenichen will be taking over as Acting Administrator.
Over his three years as Administrator, Matsuda was often criticized in industry circles for his lack of engagement and advocacy for the maritime industry.
Prior to joining MarAd, Matsuda, worked as the primary transportation counsel to Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ).
In a statement, MarAd said Matsuda "helped secure the future of the 60-ship militarily-useful merchant fleet by leading the charge with an industry coalition on Capitol Hill to advocate passage of the agency's 10-year, $2 billion Maritime Security Program. During his three years as administrator, Matsuda tackled legacy agency challenges—including environmental cleanup of the California Suisun Bay fleet site and addressing ailing infrastructure at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy—and refocused the agency on future maritime challenges including use of alternative maritime fuels like liquefied natural gas and Panama Canal expansion impacts on U.S. ports. "
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said, “I’m particularly proud of his work to improve federal maritime education programs and revitalize the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy."
In an outgoing communication to industry, Matsuda said: "Over the last four years, our agency has worked hard to seize every opportunity to advocate for a strong U.S. maritime industry, and I have been honored to play a part in this historic administration’s efforts. This honor is multi-layered and includes the opportunity to serve our country, serve alongside dedicated professionals, and serve the men and women who work on the water every day.
"In considering and fully appreciating this honor, I have recently made the difficult decision to move on from my position at the Maritime Administration later this month.
"Taking the helm as Acting Administrator will be Deputy Administrator Chip Jaenichen. He and the rest of our team are dedicated to ensuring a smooth transition of agency leadership."