Jerald S. Paul, a Maine Maritime Academy (MMA) graduate whose professional career includes time as a sailor, attorney and nuclear engineer, will take over as the institution’s next president.
Paul will succeed current President William J. Brennan, who has held the position for 12 years. Brennan plans to step down in late April.
“Coming back to MMA is a real thrill,” Paul said in a prepared statement. “The institution is poised for growth, and I look forward to working with our faculty, staff and students as we evolve into the 21st century.”
Paul graduated from MMA in 1989 and later studied nuclear engineering and earned a law degree in Florida. He sailed as a licensed third engineer for a time, MMA said, and he was a U.S. Naval Reserve officer. Later, he worked with shoreside nuclear reactors, held positions in advocacy and government, ran a law practice and served two terms in the Florida House of Representatives.
Former President George W. Bush appointed Paul principal deputy administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration within the Department of Energy, where he oversaw nuclear defense and U.S. naval reactors, among other duties. Paul served on numerous boards and held many leadership positions over the years.
He was chosen from a pool of 39 candidates following a national search. Paul intends to move to Castine, Maine, with his wife, Kristy.
“We love this town, its maritime heritage, and especially its people, including our local friendships,” he said. “We look forward to beginning the transition in the new year.”
Maine Maritime is located in Castine. It was founded in 1941 and has about 950 students.