Former U.S. Maritime Administrator To Join Class Society

(Houston, TX—) ABS is pleased to announce that Sean T. Connaughton, who served as U.S. Maritime Administrator from 2006 until his resignation with the recent change of Administration in Washington, will join the class society as Corporate Vice President for Government Affairs, effective 17 February.

In this newly created position, Connaughton will act as the society’s primary liaison with national governments at senior levels, establishing and maintaining close working relationships with the principal executive and legislative bodies that influence maritime policy as it relates to safety and classification issues.

“Governments are playing an increasingly important role in our activities,†said ABS Chairman and CEO Robert D. Somerville. “Legislative actions can affect the terms of reference under which we operate, as is currently the case with the new EC Directive and Regulation for Recognized Organizations. And governments are also important clients. We provide classification services for naval, military and other specialist government vessels and see promising opportunities to expand these relationships in the future.

“Having someone with Sean’s intimate knowledge of government operations, diplomatic and legislative skills and experience, and close contacts with the maritime administrations of other nations from his time as the U.S. Maritime Administrator, will greatly strengthen our ability to work with governments as partners and clients,†Somerville added.  

Connaughton is a graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy. He has served the U.S. Coast Guard as both a commissioned officer and as a civil servant in the Office of Marine Safety, Security, and Environmental Protection. After gaining a Master’s degree, he joined the American Petroleum Institute, representing companies involved in the energy and marine transportation industries, during which time he also gained a law degree from George Mason University.

As a lawyer, in private practice and six years in the transportation practice of Troutman Sanders LLP, he has specialized in maritime and international law and has appeared before the United States Supreme Court. He is a member of the Virginia Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar Association, and the Maritime Law Association. He is also a graduate of the US Naval War College.

Connaughton has been involved in local government as an elected official and, prior to his appointment as Maritime Administrator, served on numerous regional boards and commissions, including the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. He is also the recipient of numerous maritime and civic awards that reflect his contributions to community and industry.

Founded in 1862, ABS is a leading international classification society devoted to promoting the security of life, property and the marine environment through the development and verification of standards for the design, construction and operational maintenance of marine-related facilities.

By Professional Mariner Staff