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President Biden names U.S. Maritime Administrator nominee

Written by Nick Blenkey
New Maritime Administrator

Retired U.S. Navy rear admiral Ann Phillips has been confirmed as Maritime Administrator

President Joe Biden has announced his intention to nominate retired U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Ann Phillips as Administrator of the United States Maritime Administration at the Department of Transportation. If confirmed, Phillips will take control of the agency as it once again finds itself at the center of a storm over the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy’s efforts to deal with issues of sexual assault and sexual harassment, in particular when midshipmen are away from its Kings Point, N.Y., campus and saving aboard ship for the Sea Year program.

Phillips currently serves as the first Special Assistant to the Governor of Virginia for Coastal Adaptation and Protection, where she is building a collaborative, whole of government and community approach to address the impact of coastal flooding across the Commonwealth, including the development of Virginia’s first Coastal Resilience Master Plan. In particular, she coordinates across Federal, State, local and other partners to create equitable strategies to address rising waters and climate impact to federal, maritime, and other critical coastal infrastructure assets in Virginia.

Prior to her current appointment, Ann Phillips served nearly 31 years on active duty in the United States Navy, retiring as a Rear Admiral. Her final Flag command was as Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group TWO, including 14 ships and 10 subordinate commands—all the Amphibious Expeditionary Forces on the East Coast of the United States.


Rear Admiral Ann Phillips [U.S. Navy Photograph]

Following is Rear Admiral Phillips official Navy biography:

Phillips, a native of Annapolis, Md., graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received her commission through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps in 1983. Her most recent assignment was commander, Expeditionary Strike Group Two.

After commissioning, Phillips served aboard USS Lexington (AVT 16) as 1st division officer, assistant damage control assistant, and repair division officer, and then reported to USS Jason (AR 8) as navigator. In 1989, she reported to USS Cape Cod (AD 43) as chief engineer deploying in support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm and then reported to USS San Jose (AFS 7), homeport Agana, Guam, as operations officer, deploying again in support of Operation Desert Storm. For her first shore assignment, Phillips served as a department head instructor at Surface Warfare Officers School Command, Newport, Rhode Island. In 1995 she reported to Cruiser-Destroyer Group 3 as flag secretary, deploying with Carl Vinson Task Group, supporting Operation Desert Strike. Her next assignment was as executive officer on board USS Kinkaid (DD 965), and from there she reported to the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations, serving as an action officer in the Surface Warfare Division, DD 21 Program.

Phillips then reported to PCU Mustin (DDG 89), and had the honor to commission and serve as the first commanding officer of USS Mustin (DDG 89). Her next assignment was as executive assistant to Commander 6th Fleet/commander, Joint Command Lisbon in Lisbon, Portugal. During this tour, Joint Command Lisbon assumed command of the NATO Response Force (NRF), and executed the first ever NRF deployment in support of Pakistani earthquake relief efforts. Phillips next served as commander, Destroyer Squadron 28, in Norfolk, Virginia, detaching in September 2008 and reporting to the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group, SSG XXVIII as a fellow from October 2008 to July 2009. She then served on the Chief of Naval Operations Staff as deputy director of Surface Warfare (N86B) and then, director of Surface Warfare (N86).

Phillips’ personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards) and other service and campaign ribbons.

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