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Sean T. Connaughton, U.S. Maritime Administrator

Sean T. Connaughton
Maritime Administrator

Sean Connaughton was nominated by President George W. Bush to be the Maritime Administrator on June 28, 2006. He was confirmed by the Senate on August 3, 2006 and sworn into office on September 6, 2006.

Sean graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science degree, a Third Mates (Unlimited Tonnage) Merchant Marine license, and a commission in the United States Coast Guard. He served on active duty in the United States Coast Guard from 1983 to 1986.

After leaving active duty, Sean briefly worked for a defense contractor in Arlington, Virginia. He returned to the Coast Guard as a civil servant in the Office of Marine Safety, Security, and Environmental Protection at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. During this time, Sean attended Georgetown University on a part-time basis and graduated with a Masters degree in 1988.

In 1988, Sean began working at the American Petroleum Institute representing companies involved in the energy and marine transportation industries. He attended law school at night at George Mason University School of Law. Sean graduated with his law degree in 1992 and passed the Virginia State Bar later that year.

Sean embarked on a career as a lawyer in private practice specializing in maritime and international law. He and a colleague appeared before the United States Supreme Court in 1999 to argue Intertanko v. Locke, a case involving the constitutionality of laws imposed on the marine transportation industry. They won that case in a unanimous decision. Sean has published many articles on marine transportation and environmental issues as well as spoken at numerous conferences and seminars on these topics. He joined the law firm of Troutman Sanders LLP at the end of 2000. He is a member of the Virginia Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar Association, and the Maritime Law Association.

Sean was elected Chairman At-large of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors in November 1999. He was re-elected to a second four-year term, beginning January 1, 2004. Sean served on numerous regional boards and commissions, including the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. In 2004, he was recognized by the National Association of Counties with its Distinguished Service Award for his efforts on workforce development programs. He resigned his elected position on September 6, 2006.

After serving on active duty in the United States Coast Guard, Sean joined the United States Naval Reserve as a selected reserve in 1986. Serving in both operational and staff billets, he retired in 2006. Sean graduated (with honors) from the U.S. Naval War College in 1998. He was awarded the Naval War College’s Franklin Reinauer II Defense Economic Prize.

Sean was named the "2007 Maritime Person of the Year" by the Propeller Club of the United States. He was awarded the "2007 Government Man of the Year" by the Maritime Port Council of Greater New York and Vicinity. In 2007, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in Public Administration from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
Sean currently resides in Triangle, Virginia, with his wife, Teresa, and their two children, Courtney and Sean, Jr.