September 27 event to honor America’s Deep Sea Domestic Carriers

US Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao and Sean Connaughton, the new US Maritime Administrator, will be guest speakers at the United States Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Foundation dinner in New York on Wednesday, September 27 honoring America’s Deep-Sea Domestic fleet.

The gala dinner will benefit the American Merchant Marine Museum located on the Academy’s campus in Kings Point, Long Island.

Secretary Chao, whose career has spanned international transportation issues on many levels, will be the keynote speaker and Mr. Connaughton, a 1983 graduate of the Academy who also served in the U. S. Coast Guard, will give a special address at his first New York-area public engagement.

“It is a special privilege to have both the Honorable Elaine Chao and our newest US maritime policy spokesperson, Sean Connaughton, appear at this signature event for Kings Point,” said Eugene McCormick, Foundation President & CEO. “The ocean carriers that serve the U.S. domestic trades are being honored by our Foundation recognizing their vital role in our country’s defense and commerce as well as by these two esteemed US government representatives who will address our dinner.”

Secretary Chao’s career has spanned the public, private and non-profit sectors. Her contributions to international transportation service also include serving as Deputy Secretary at the US Department of Transportation, Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, Deputy Maritime Administrator in the US Department of Transportation and White House Fellow. She has also worked in the private sector in the banking industry. Prior to her nomination as Secretary of Labor in 2001, she was a Distinguished Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of America and was Director of the Peace Corps.

In her present position, Ms. Chao has been dedicated to carrying out the Department of Labor’s mission of promoting and protecting the health, safety, retirement security, and competitiveness of the nation’s workforce.

The Honorable Sean Connaughton graduated from Kings Point with a Bachelor of Science degree and a commission in the United States Coast Guard. After leaving active duty, he later returned as a civil servant in the Office of Marine Safety, Security, and Environmental Protection at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, DC. During this time, Sean attended Georgetown University on a part-time basis and graduated with a Masters degree in 1988. He received his law degree from George Mason University School of Law in 1992.

Mr. Connaughton embarked on a career as a lawyer in private practice specializing in maritime and international law and has published many articles on marine transportation and environmental issues. He has spoken at numerous conferences and seminars on these topics. An active public servant, Mr. Connaughton serves on many diverse boards. He has remained a member of the United States Armed Forces having joined the United States Naval Reserve as a selected reservist in 1987. Serving in both operational and staff billets, he currently is a Commander. Sean graduated (with honors) from the US Naval War College in 1998.