FORMER administrator of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) who is credited with pushing sweeping reforms in maritime education, training, and certification system and safety improvement programs has been named the new president of the Sweden-based World Maritime University.
The appointment of Prof. Maximo Q. Mejia Jr., who served as MARINA chief from 2013 to 2016, was announced by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) recently.
Following a competitive selection process, Mejia was selected by the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization, Chancellor of the university, to succeed Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry as the new President of WMU, based in Malmö, Sweden.
Mejia is expected to take over the president’s role on June 29, when Dr. Doumbia-Henry’s term expires, according to a posting on the IMO web site.
As MARINA Administrator, Mejia was chief architect and implementer of a comprehensive reform of the country’s maritime education.
Before joining WMU, he saw duty on board various naval and coast guard vessels as well as in shore-based facilities in the Philippines.
Among others, he served as Commanding Officer of Port State Control Office Manila, Commander of Coast Guard Station Iligan, Deputy Executive Director of the Presidential Task Force on Maritime Development, and Assistant Chief of Staff for Navigational Safety.
Dr. Mejia took a sabbatical from the World Maritime University to serve as Administrator (Director General) of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) from 2013 to 2016.
In 2013, Lloyd’s List included Dr. Mejia in its list of the world’s 100 Most Influential Persons in the Shipping Industry.
The World Maritime University was founded in 1983 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The mission of WMU is to be the world center of excellence in postgraduate maritime and ocean education, research, and professional training, while building global capacity and effective implementation of the IMO Conventions and regulations and promoting maritime sustainable development. It also promotes the roles of women in the maritime and ocean sectors.
As an entity within the UN system, WMU has been delivering the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) on education, gender equality, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, sustainable industrialization and innovation, climate action, the oceans, peace and justice, and working in partnership.
To date, WMU has 5,807 alumni from 170 countries and territories.
Mejia Jr. is currently Director of the PhD Program and Associate Academic Dean at the WMU.
He studied Political Science at the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland and went on to obtain a Master of Arts in Law & Diplomacy at the Fletcher School at Tufts University, United States.
He is himself a graduate of WMU, having received a Master of Science in Maritime Safety Administration in 1994. Professor Mejia also has a Licentiate of Engineering and Doctor of Philosophy from Lund University in Sweden.