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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Trump Appointee Takes Over as Acting Maritime Commission Chair

By Mark Edward Nero

On Feb. 15, Michael Khouri presided over his first meeting as Acting Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, taking over from former chair Mario Cordero.

Khouri became the 21st person to lead the FMC in late January when he was appointed Acting Chairman by President Donald J. Trump.

"I am honored to have been designated as Acting Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission," Khouri said. "I want to assure all the Commission’s constituents and stakeholders that I am committed to assuring a competitive marketplace for ocean transportation services and the emphasis of the agency will remain to faithfully administer the shipping laws of the United States.”

Khouri, who was appointed to the Commission in 2010, is a Kentucky native who has a more than four-decade career in the maritime industry that began as a deckhand on towboats moving barges up and down the Mississippi River. He ultimately earned his US Merchant Marine Officer’s License as Master and First Class Pilot, allowing him to serve as a vessel captain. Khouri came ashore to earn a Juris Doctorate from the Brandeis School of Law – University of Louisville, following which, he had a distinguished career as a lawyer and business executive in the transportation sector.

Cordero chaired the FMC from 2013 until earlier this year. He is expected to remain on the Commission until his term expires in June 2019.

"It was a pleasure to serve as Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, and I am proud of our accomplishments over the last four years. I know that its good work will continue with Acting Chairman Khouri,” said Cordero, a former Port of Long Beach Harbor Commission president. “I look forward to working with him to serve the needs of the American shipping public and furthering the mission objectives of the Commission."