Biden announces Navy veteran as nominee to lead MarAd

Rear Adm. Ann Phillips would follow Adm. Mark Buzby as maritime administrator

(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden on Thursday announced his intention to nominate retired Rear Adm. Ann Phillips, a 31-year U.S. Navy veteran, as administrator of the U.S. Maritime Administration (MarAd).

The previous maritime administrator, Adm. Mark Buzby, resigned in protest after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The post has been held in an interim capacity since then by Lucinda Lessley, a former House staff member who served on the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transport and the Committee on Homeland Security.

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Rear Adm. Ann Phillips (U.S. Navy photo)

Phillips is a leader in the field of coastal resilience and climate impact on national security at the regional, national and international level. In her current appointment as the first special assistant to the governor of Virginia for coastal adaptation and protection, 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, Phillips served nearly 31 years on active duty in the Navy, retiring as a rear admiral. Her final flag command was as commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 2, including 14 ships and 10 subordinate commands – all the amphibious expeditionary forces on the East Coast of the United States. Earlier she served on the chief of naval operations’ staff as deputy director and then director of Surface Warfare Division. She also had the honor to commission and command USS Mustin (DDG 89), and to command Destroyer Squadron 28.

“The American Maritime Partnership congratulates Adm. Phillips on her nomination to lead the Maritime Administration, which plays a critical role in supporting our defense readiness, the domestic maritime fleet and hard-working American mariners throughout the world,” said Mike Roberts, president of the AMP. “We look forward to a swift Senate confirmation process so we can begin working with Adm. Phillips to strengthen American maritime in support of our homeland and national security.”

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