Bemedaled expert named Marina chief
President Aquino has appointed a Swedish- and US-educated maritime expert and bemedaled naval officer to head the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina), the agency created in 1974 to administer an integrated and sustainable maritime industry for the country.
Maximo Mejia Jr., the new Marina administrator, replaced Emerson Lorenzo and would serve until July 2016, Malacañang said.
The 48-year-old Mejia brings to the agency an enviable academic experience from Sweden and the United States complemented by work experience in the Philippine Coast Guard and Navy, among other institutions.
From 1998 until his appointment to the Marina, Mejia was a professor at the World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmö, Sweden, teaching graduate courses in maritime transport safety, security and environmental protection.
In 1998, he worked at the Philippine Coast Guard as deputy executive director of the secretariat of the multisectoral task force on maritime development. His job entailed planning and implementing reforms in maritime transport administration.
Before that, he was commander of the Coast Guard station in Iligan, and commander of the Port State Control Office in Manila. From 1988 to 1995, Mejia was a commissioned officer of the Navy.
Mejia earned a doctorate in maritime security from the Lund University in Lund, Sweden, in May 2008, a licentiate of engineering from the same university in November 2006, and a master’s degree in maritime safety administration at the WMU in 1994.
In the US, he collected a master’s degree in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Diplomacy at Tufts University, and a bachelor’s degree at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1988, graduating with merit.
He is an ILO-certified Maritime Labor Convention 2006 trainer and a foreign service officer IV of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
His military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Military Merit Medal, Military Commendation Medal, Luzon Campaign Medal and Ribbon, Visayas Campaign Medal and Ribbon, Mindanao-Sulu Campaign Medal and Ribbon, US Navy Pistol Expert Medal and Ribbon, and US Navy Rifle Sharpshooter Ribbon, among others.