On February 5, 2020 the association "Friends of WMU e.V." was founded in Hamburg. The aim of the association is to support the World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmö / Sweden as a university of the United Nations, which trains in particular the junior management staff of shipping administrations. Germany is traditionally one of the strongest supporters of WMU. For example, former IMO Secretary-General, Kitack Lim, graduated from WMU with a scholarship from Germany. The aim of the new association is to support WMU students during visits to Germany and to offer them an active German maritime network.

In the presence of the WMU President, Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, 17 top representatives of the maritime and port industry met in the rooms of a Hamburg shipping office to perform the founding act. In addition to the head of the central department in the BMVI MDir Reinhard Klingen, lawyer Dr. Axel Henriksen and the Hamburg shipping company owner Frank Leonhardt were appointed to the founding board. The association was entered in the register of associations at the Hamburg District Court on June 11, 2020. Meanwhile the association has 25 members.


MDir Reinhard Klingen, Leiter der Zentralabteilung im BMVI

Frank Leonhardt, Leonhardt & Blumberg

Dr. Axel Henriksen, Rechtsanwalt

Directors at large

Bruce Carlton, President and  CEO (Retired), National Industrial Transportation League; Assistant Administrator (Retired), Maritime Administration     

Joe Cox, President Emeritus, Chamber of Shipping of America       

Charles R. Cushing, Ph.D., P.E, President, C. R. Cushing & Company, Inc.

David M. Kennedy, Senior Arctic Advisor, U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration Suzanne Lemieux

Suzanne Lemieux, Manager, Mid-Stream and Industry Operations, API

Clay Maitland, Esq.  Managing Partner, International Registries, Inc

Kathy Metcalf, President and CEO, Chamber of Shipping of America

Charles G. Raymond, Chairman & CEO (Retired), Horizon Lines, Inc. Principal, Raymond Management, L.L.C.

Robin Rorick,  Director, Marine &  Security, API

Jim Watson, USCG (Ret.), Senior VP of Global Government Services, American Bureau of Shipping  


C. Robert Beans, Certified Public Accountant

Founders and Emeritus Officers

RADM  Sheldon Kinney, USN (Ret) (1918 to 2004) Former Rector (President) World Maritime University

Gerald Malia, Esq.

Captain Richard Soper, Former Chairman  and President, American Bureau of Shipping

Captain James McNamara, Former President, National Cargo Bureau

For more information about German Friends, please contact
Friends of WMU Germany e.V
c/o Rechtsanwalt Dr. Axel Henriksen
Griegstraße 75, Haus 2522763 Hamburg, Germany
Phone: +49 (0)40 - 39 90 61 02

Sponsored Fellows


Contemporary Maritime and Ocean Matters - Friends of WMU Germany Annual Seminar

The third annual Friends of WMU Germany seminar took place on 24 October with the topic of Contemporary Maritime and Ocean Matters.

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Shipping in a Changing World - Friends of WMU Germany Seminar

The second annual Friends of WMU Germany seminar focused on Shipping in a Changing World - How Can We Collaborate in the Future?

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Current Challenges to the German Maritime Industry Seminar

The Friends of WMU Germany organized a special seminar on Current Challenges to the German Maritime Industry.

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Germany Fellows Event 2020

Ceremony held for WMU Class of 2020 whose fellowships were funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.

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Friends of WMU Germany Inception

The World Maritime University is embedded in a strong network of partners and donors who contribute to fulfilling the University's global mandate for

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It was a great privilege to be at WMU and my utmost goal is to ensure I make a difference in how women view the maritime sector, and how they are viewed. It might take years to get to where I want to be, but I am continuing to encourage other women and maritime personnel about WMU and on maritime matters.

MARIAM MWACHIHI  //  KENYA, Maritime Education & Training, 2016

It is an honour for me to be able to acknowledge the incalculable debt I owe the German Government, for having provided funding for my studies at WMU. WMU equipped me with the expertise I needed to be successful in the maritime field. A WMU graduate has learned to always endeavour to function to the best of his/her ability within the confines of any available professional context and to take every opportunity, big or small, fulfilling or challenging.

EMMANUEL NDZE BUH  //  CAMEROON, Maritime Administration, 2004

My experience at WMU has been life changing. Before I enrolled at the World Maritime University, I was a Purchasing Officer with the Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority – Tema Port. My studies helped me understand better the maritime industry and I did not return to my job the same. I have a better understanding of the role of the other departments that do the core Maritime business for the Authority and how my role impacts them. I have been able to share that knowledge and understanding with my subordinates such that we are continuously positioning ourselves to give better service to our User Departments to ensure that they are following industry trends and are abreast with the growth trends of the industry. Indeed, in management meetings I am able to contribute to discussions on industry trends. My knowledge and understanding of the industry received a great boost. Most important also was the opportunity to visit leading ports in Hamburg and Singapore. Having observed the operations at these ports and knowing how they operate has made me better prepared to contribute to my own Organisation.

PHILIPPA ARMAH  //  GHANA, Shipping & Port Management, 2012