Kumar Named Head Of U.S. Maritime Education and Training

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An Indian-American has been selected to head the nation’s Maritime Administration’s education and training wing to build the corps of merchant mariners of the country.

Shashi Kumar, currently dean of United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York, has been appointed Deputy Associate Administrator and National Coordinator for Maritime Education and Training at the headquarters of the Maritime Administration, MARAD.

He takes over his new role in October to lead MARAD’s efforts to build a pipeline of future merchant mariners and working with State Maritime Academies to address the intersection between state and Federal maritime education, including training ship requirements, a release from U.S. Merchant Marine Academy said. The Maritime Administration is the agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation dealing with waterborne transportation and its seamless integration with other segments of the transportation system, as well as maintaining the viability of the U.S. merchant marine.

Kumar has been with USMMA since January 2007 as the Academic Dean, and as Interim Superintendent three times. He said he had been asked to take up his new post because of his “strong academic and maritime background.”

USMMA Superintendent, Rear Adm. James A. Helis, said Kumar would remain part of the USMMA family even while he takes on his broader education responsibilities at MARAD, and praised his accomplishments at USMMA. “His commitment to delivering a world-class education has been an inspiration to the Kings Point faculty, staff, Midshipmen and alumni who have had the opportunity to work with him,” Helis added.

Kumar is a graduate of the Indian Maritime Academy with a Masters from the Maine Maritime Academy and a Ph.D from the University of Wales. At dean at USMAA, he oversaw all academic departments, professional development and career services.

Prior to joining USMMA, Dr. Kumar was the founding Dean of the Loeb-Sullivan School of International Business and Logistics at Maine Maritime Academy. He earned an unlimited Master Mariner (U.K.) certificate of competency and sailed extensively before entering academia. His areas of teaching and research include Maritime Economics, International Business Logistics, and Maritime Logistics. He is a founding member of the International Association of Maritime Economists and the International Association of Maritime Universities, and an Educator Member of the American Society of Transportation and Logistics.

Prof. Kumar has received several teaching and leadership awards. In October 2010, he received the Transportation Secretary’s Meritorious Award and Silver Medal for his outstanding leadership skills. Also in January 2009, the Maritime Administrator presented him the United States Merchant Marine Bronze Medal for Outstanding Achievement. He has held visiting professor appointments at the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, the Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, the World Maritime University in Malmo, Sweden, the Shanghai Maritime University in Shanghai, China and the Pontifical Catholic University in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

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