The Texas A&M University Zachry Department of Civil Engineering awarded Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta with the 2009 Distinguished Graduates Award on April 8. Mr. Alemán Zubieta received the honor for his professional achievements to date, including his current role at the ACP, the autonomous government agency that manages the Panama Canal.
Alemán Zubieta earned dual bachelor of science degrees in civil and industrial engineering in 1973 and since, most notably served as administrator of the Panama Canal Commission under the Americans and eventually, after the handover of the Canal to the Panamanians, the ACP. When U.S. ownership of the Canal was transferred to Panama December 31, 1999, the ACP became the sole manager of the waterway, shifting its operations from a profit-neutral utility to a market-oriented business model. Alemán Zubieta is currently overseeing the ACP’s $5.25b Expansion Program, which will double Canal capacity and allow more traffic and the transit of longer, wider ships.
Alemán Zubieta remains involved with the University as an active member of the External Advisory Board of International Programs, and he volunteers with the A&M club in Panama and hosts visiting Texas A&M officials. Alemán Zubieta also assisted the University’s Department of Nautical Archeology to excavate a Panama shipwreck dating back to the 1500s. In recognition of these efforts, he received the University’s 2004 Outstanding International Alumnus award.