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Indian-American academic appointed to key maritime post

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New York:An Indian-American academic has been appointed to lead the education and training wing of US Maritime Administration, overseeing the agencys efforts in building future merchant marines, officials have said.

Shashi Kumar, the Dean of US Merchant Marine Academy here, will serve as Deputy Associate Administrator and National Coordinator for Maritime Education and Training at the headquarters of the Maritime Administration (MARAD).

Kumar, who graduated from Indian Maritime Academy with a masters from the Maine Maritime Academy and a Ph.D from the University of Wales, will begin his new role from next month. He will lead MARADs efforts to build a pipeline of future merchant mariners for America and work with State Maritime Academies to address the intersection between state and Federal maritime education, including training ship requirements, US Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) said in a statement.

“After serving at the United States Merchant Marine Academy since January 2007 as the Academic Dean, and as Interim Superintendent three times, I am moving on to pursue other challenges,” Kumar said. “Given my strong academic and maritime background, the Maritime Administrator has asked me to join the headquarters staff as Deputy Associate Administrator and National Coordinator for Maritime Education and Training.

“In October, I will begin to serve in my new role to lead MARADs efforts to build a pipeline of future merchant mariners for our Nation, and to work with State Maritime Academies to address their training ship requirements and other needs,” he said. Meanwhile, USMMA Superintendent Rear Adm James A Helis said “even while he takes on his broader education responsibilities at MARAD, Dean Kumar will remain part of the USMMA family, and we look forward to his continuing advice and support for all that we do at Kings Point.”

“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. We are delighted that this new position will keep him, his talents and his passion for maritime education within the MARAD family, continuing to advance the interests of Americas maritime industry,” Helis added.

PTI