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Maritime Administration
Agency overview
Formed May 24, 1950
Preceding agency Maritime Commission
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Parent agency Department of Transportation

The United States Maritime Administration or MARAD, is an agency of the United States Department of Transportation that maintains the National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF) as a ready source of ships for use during national emergencies, and assists the NDRF in fulfilling its role as the nation's fourth arm of defense, logistically supporting the military when needed.

David Matsuda was appointed Deputy Maritime Administrator, and Acting Maritime Administrator (the head of MARAD) in July 2009 .



When the U.S. Maritime Commission was abolished on 24 May 1950, its functions were split between the U.S. Federal Maritime Board which was responsible for regulating shipping and awarding subsidies for construction and operation of merchant vessels, and Maritime Administration, which was responsible for administering subsidy programs, maintaining the national defense reserve merchant fleet, and operating the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

In 1961, the Federal Maritime Board regulatory functions were assumed by the newly created Federal Maritime Commission, while the subsidy functions were assigned to the Maritime Subsidy Board of the Maritime Administration.

On August 6, 1981 MARAD came under control of the U.S. Department of Transportation thereby bringing all transportation programs under one cabinet-level department.

MARAD functions

MARAD administers financial programs to develop, promote, and operate the US Maritime Service and the US Merchant Marine; determines services and routes necessary to develop and maintain American foreign commerce and requirements of ships necessary to provide adequate service on such routes; conducts research and development activities in the maritime field; regulates the transfer of US documented vessels to foreign registries; maintains equipment, shipyard facilities, and reserve fleets of Government-owned ships essential for national defense.

Agency Leadership

David Matsuda, Acting Administrator and Deputy Administrator

Orlando Gotay, Senior Advisor for Maritime Policy

K. Denise Rucker Krepp, Chief Counsel

Maritime academies

MARAD operates one federal service maritime academy, and administers a Grant-In-Aid Program for state-operated maritime academies, as follows:

Classification Name Location Notes
Federal US Merchant Marine Academy Kings Point, New York One of the United States Service academies
State California Maritime Academy California A campus of the California State University
State Maine Maritime Academy Maine
State Massachusetts Maritime Academy Massachusetts
State Great Lakes Maritime Academy Michigan A division of Northwestern Michigan College
State SUNY Maritime College New York A campus of the State University of New York
State Texas Maritime Academy Galveston, Texas A campus of the Texas A&M University System

Students at these academies can graduate with appropriate United States Coast Guard licenses (Mate or Engineer)if they choose to take the Coast Guard License exam, and may become commissioned reserve officers in any branch of the service when graduating from USMMA or a ROTC scholarship from one of the other maritime schools.


The Maritime Subsidy Board negotiates contracts for ship construction and grants operating-differential subsidies to shipping companies.


Maritime Security Program

The Maritime Administrator is vested with the residual powers of the Director of the National Shipping Authority, which was established in 1951 to organize and direct emergency merchant marine operations.

The Maritime Security Program (MSP) authorizes MARAD to enter into contracts with U.S.-flag commercial ship owners to provide service during times of war or national emergencies. As of 2007, 10 companies have signed contracts providing the MSP with a reserve of 60 cargo vessels.[1]

See also


External links


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