WMU Welcomes United States Coast Guard Commandant
On 27 November, President Doumbia-Henry welcomed Commandant of the United States Coast Guard (USCG), Admiral Karl L. Schultz, to WMU. The visit provided the opportunity for Admiral Schultz to address the Faculty, Staff and Students of the University on the topic "Building a Stronger Maritime Domain through Global Partnerships".
As the top service official responsible for all USCG activities world-wide, Admiral Schultz introduced the work of the USCG, highlighting the focus on protecting the United States’ economic and border security, as well as the important role of advocating for international norms. He highlighted a wide array of international collaboration, including partnering on security in ports, championing free and open oceans in the Indo-Pacific and emerging regions of the high latitudes, saving lives, and facilitating subject matter and technical exchanges including providing training for partner nations in US officer courses and technical schools. “The United States Coast Guard is honored to partner across the globe on many different fronts. We are truly an organization that believes that we are stronger together,” he stated.
In reference to the 2019 World Maritime Day Theme of Empowering Women in the Maritime Community, Commandant Schultz noted the extensive efforts the USCG is making to be more inclusive and diverse, including recruiting more women. He recognized the important role of WMU in advancing women in the maritime community and in overall global maritime capacity building stating, “WMU is a tremendous place for the global maritime community.”
In her remarks, President Doumbia-Henry thanked the Admiral for the continued support of the USCG. She noted that the mutually beneficial and unique partnership between WMU and the USCG shapes tomorrow’s maritime leaders in many ways, particularly through the permanent Coast Guard Liaison Officer position established in 1987 that provides for a resident USCG lecturer at WMU on a variety of maritime topics.
“Based on their exposure to the USCG while at WMU, our students return to their home countries and implement policy and procedures within their countries and internationally that align closely with the USCG’s mission of improving maritime safety and security, ultimately making the world’s oceans, ports and waterways a safer, cleaner and more secure place for maritime commerce,” stated President Doumbia-Henry. “I am continually amazed at the incredible work that the U.S. Coast Guard does not only for the American Public but for the international maritime community at large,” she said.
WMU has a long-standing relationship with the USCG. A representative of the USCG serves on the Board of Governors appointed by the Secretary General of the IMO. In 1987, WMU and the USCG signed a Memorandum of Agreement formally establishing a permanent Coast Guard Liaison Officer assignment at WMU. Since that time, the role has been filled nearly continuously. The USCG representative normally serves a two year tour at the University and lectures on a variety of maritime topics including environmental regulations, port state control, various international conventions, contingency planning, oil spill response, port security and marine casualty investigations. He/she also assists with a variety of research projects and seminars, positively influencing the international maritime community. In addition to the permanent WMU Liaison Officer position, the USCG routinely provides guest lecturers to speak on a variety of topics including Container Inspections, Contingency Planning, Emergency Management and Maritime Leadership.