John Gaughan, Vice President of the American Maritime Congress, has been selected as the new chairman
of the Marine Transportation System National Advisory Council (MTSNAC). Gaughan served in the White House as Deputy Assistant to the President and Director, White House Military
Office, for Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush. He also served at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) as Maritime Administrator from 1985-1989 and as DOT Chief of Staff from 1989-1991.
The MTSNAC is a chartered, non-federal body that advises the Secretary of Transportation on Marine Transportation System issues. The Council's membership is comprised of leaders from 30 commercial transportation firms, trade associations, state and local public entities, the recreation boating industry, academics, and environment.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta said of Gaughan's election, "John has dealt with many of the tough issues in the field of transportation. While at the Department of Transportation, he was Secretary Samuel Skinner's point person in numerous crises, including Desert Shield/Desert Storm, the 1991 National Rail Strike, Hurricane Hugo, and the EXXON VALDEZ
oil spill clean-up and settlement. He played a key role in the successful development of President George H.W. Bush's national transportation policy, and he is a worthy successor to Chuck Raymond as chair of the MTSNAC."
Raymond, chairman of Horizon Lines (formerly CSX), chaired the MTSNAC for three years. Mr. Joe Miniace was selected Vice Chair replacing Mr. Frank Sims. Mr. Miniace is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Maritime Association.
The election took place at the Council's May meeting, held in Washington, D.C. The Council also worked on a SEA-21 legislative proposal. Captain William G. Schubert, the Maritime Administrator, opened the meeting with a message from Secretary Mineta urging the Council to complete their work on a comprehensive maritime transportation system SEA-21 legislative proposal in a timely fashion.
"The Secretary is waiting to hear from you on the improvements you envision for the MTS and, more importantly, how you intend we fund those improvements," Schubert said. The MTS National Advisory Council is expected to consider the final legislative package (infrastructure needs and funding mechanism) at their September meeting.