Alumni at Work
Shashi N Kumar ’87
Major at MMA: M.S. in Maritime Management
Extracurricular involvement while at MMA: Castine Volunteer Fire Department
Employer: Neptune Orient Lines, Singapore (when I was a student at MMA); Maritime Administration (current employer)
Where has your career taken you since graduation?
I made a completely unplanned switch from my then job in Singapore to the rigors of academe in Castine, Maine. I had the privilege of serving MMA for a delightful twenty years as a faculty member and administrator during its most critical years and being part of the team that laid the foundation for its strategic diversification that began in the late 1980s, including the planning, establishing, and leading of the Loeb-Sullivan School of IBL. I joined the federal merchant marine academy (USMMA) as its chief academic officer in 2007 and continue in that role today. In between, I also served three terms as the USMMA Interim Superintendent.
What is your current title and what are your responsibilities?
Most recently, I served as Academic Dean at USMMA. I provided leadership for the graduate and undergraduate academic programs and departments at the USMMA. My reporting chain included the departments of Marine Transportation, Engineering, Math & Science, Humanities, Physical Education and Athletics, Professional Development and Career Services, Library, Registrar, and the Academic Center for Excellence. I now work for MARAD as the Deputy Associate Administrator and National Coordinator for Maritime Education and Training. In this position, I lead efforts to increase the nation’s number of ships and crews, while working closely with State and Federal maritime academies.
What piece of advice would you give to a student going into your field?
MMA does not offer a graduate major in Maritime Management any longer. I will, however, advise anyone pursuing a maritime degree that there has never been a better time in recent memory to enter this field in the U.S. Additionally, I would say, “Go South, young wo/man!”
How did the MMA experience prepare you for both your prior positions and your current career focus?
My graduate experience was instrumental in whetting my appetite for research and scholarship. The excellent team of professionals that I worked with at MMA prepared me to be a good team player and an effective academic leader, and be innovative.
What are your goals for the future?
I would like to continue my role as an institution builder and provide leadership for the finest maritime-oriented education in the world.