(CASTINE, Maine) — Maine Maritime Academy’s board of trustees has announced that Jerald S. “Jerry” Paul has been named as the college’s 15th President. Paul, current president of Capitol Access and a 1989 graduate of the institution, will take office in the spring.
Paul will succeed President William J. Brennan, who steps down from the position at the end of April following 12 years of transformative leadership at MMA. “I am gratified that the board has selected such a fine individual to lead this wonderful college when I step down next spring,” said Brennan. “Jerry has the background, experience, and personal demeanor that is ideally suited to lead MMA at this important time in our history. I ask the entire MMA family and the Castine community to join me in congratulating him. We are eager to have he and his family join us.”
A marine engineering technology major, Paul graduated in the top 5 percent of his class with two minors at MMA: powerplant management and controls, and nuclear engineering. After MMA, he earned a post-baccalaureate degree in nuclear engineering, conferred with high honors, and a juris doctor of law, conferred cum laude.
Paul held an unlimited tonnage Coast Guard third engineer license and a Maine third class engineer license. He sailed on merchant marine vessels intermittently and served as an engineering officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve MMR. He later served as a reactor engineer on shoreside nuclear reactors.
For more than 20 years, he has practiced law as a member of the federal and Florida bar, including advocacy as a government affairs consultant and strategist, representing clients in governmental venues on matters of policy, appropriations, and grant funding. He also served as a court-certified mediator. Paul served as the president-appointed principal deputy administrator of the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration with a budget exceeding $10 billion along with oversight and management of three divisions: U.S. Nuclear Defense Programs, U.S. Nuclear Nonproliferation, and U.S. Naval Reactors. He has experience within the national security complex including U.S. National Laboratories and with international diplomatic affairs. He has held security clearances at the highest levels for oversight of classified programs important to America’s interests.
As a former senior official within the U.S. Department of Energy, Paul has been engaged throughout domestic and international energy markets. He served as distinguished fellow for energy policy at the Howard Baker Center for Public Policy, University of Tennessee, in conjunction with Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He represented the state of Florida on the Southern States Energy Board. He formerly served on the 10-year planning board for Tennessee Valley Authority. He has operated an energy consulting firm specializing in regulatory policy and development of energy technology.He formerly served as an elected member of the Florida House of Representatives, serving as chairman of an appropriations subcommittee and chairman of the Environmental Regulation Committee.
Throughout his career, he has also served in multiple capacities within higher education. He served on the College of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Board and the Nuclear Engineering Department Advisory Board at the University of Florida. He served on the board of trustees for the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation.
Paul’s appointment follows a national search that identified 39 candidates for the position. “This has been a very exciting process for the academy,” says Earle Cianchette, chairman of the board, Class of 1977. “We are incredibly proud to now welcome Jerry back to Castine and to build the future of MMA with him.”
“I am honored to be offered this opportunity to return to my alma mater and lead the academy that provided me with the tools that enabled me to achieve success,” said Paul. “My wife, Kristy, and I are eager to come back to Castine. We love this town, its maritime heritage, and especially its people, including our local friendships. We look forward to beginning the transition in the new year.”
“It has always been an honor to be selected, elected, or appointed to leadership positions throughout my career,” he continued. “But the opportunity to lead the world’s greatest maritime college is the greatest honor of all.”
“I have had the good fortune in both the public and private sectors, and in government, to experience a rich diversity of perspectives on how organizations function – and function at the highest level. I will draw on what I’ve learned in each arena for our MMA of the future,” Paul said. “The leadership by President Brennan for more than a decade has provided an extraordinary platform for which I, and our entire MMA family, are grateful.”
Paul will be taking the helm as the college celebrates its eighth decade and prepares to welcome a new training ship, expands academic offerings, and builds upon its reputation as a world-class maritime training institution.
“Coming back to MMA is a real thrill. 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 said. “As an alumnus, it is particularly exciting to be both a part of both the institution’s past and future.”
– Maine Maritime Academy