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Justice, Fairness, Inclusion, and Performance.


Maritime Administration: Defining its Mission, Aligning its Programs, and Meeting its Objectives

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) contracted with the National Academy of Public Administration to undertake an independent review of its core functions, its role within the U.S. Department of Transportation, and its benefit to the Nation. The Agency’s mission is to improve, strengthen, and promote the U.S. maritime transportation system to meet the economic and security needs of the Nation. This review is intended to improve MARAD’s effectiveness, efficiencies, and contribution to national objectives.

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Key Findings

Despite its modest size and budgetary resources, MARAD has broad statutory missions directed toward maritime industry support, mariner training, and national security. Its programs are generally directed toward ensuring that the country has a sufficient number of U.S.-flag vessels and U.S.- citizen qualified mariners. The Panel offered 27 recommendations to improve:

  1. Agency mission focus and program alignment;
  2. U.S. Merchant Marine Academy management;
  3. Sealift mission and recapitalization of government-owned vessels;
  4. Mariner training; and
  5. Specific programs.


Recommendations call for MARAD to act through the Office of the Secretary of Transportation. Several of the recommendations may require changes in policy or statute.

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