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Mariner Work-Life Balance Symposium

Monday, April 1, 2024

Join us for the MARAD/CMTS Mariner Work-Life Balance Symposium on April 16, 2024. The symposium will feature an opening session with Father Sinclair Oubre; two panels focused on identifying viable ways to enhance mariner work-life balance (covering topics that will include career progression, training, early exodus from sailing, and much more); followed by a fireside chat with voices from the future of the Maritime Industry—Midshipmen from the United States Merchant Marine Academy.  

Please stay for the afternoon session where we will have facilitated small group break-out sessions where we hope to hear directly from YOU! Add your voice to the conversation about how maritime stakeholders can implement measures that will enhance mariner Work-Life balance! 

Seating is limited, please RSVP by clicking the link above and providing the requested information.

Details of the day, and bios of our panelists follow:

Opening Session 9:00 am – 9:30 am

Father Sinclair Oubre

Panel One – Work – 9:30 am – 10:45 am


Captain Cathleen Mauro

Chief of Maritime Personnel Qualifications Division,

U.S. Coast Guard


Claudia Cimini

Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association,

Executive Vice President

Jenny Johnson

Maritime Inclusion Partners, Founder

Dr. Livingstone Caesar

Assistant Professor, Maritime Business Administration,

Texas A & M University at Galveston

Dennis J. Houghton

Director Marine Human Resources and Manning

Maersk Line, Limited

Captain Roshenda Josephs

Military Sealift Command

Break 10:45 – 11:00 am

Panel Two – Life – 11:00 am – 12:30 pm


Dr. Shashi Kumar

MARAD Deputy Associate Administrator for Maritime Education


Miriam Anthony


International Organization of Masters Mates and Pilots

Megan Davidson

Chief People Officer, Crowley

Adam Vokac

Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association, President

Cassi Laskowski

Executive Director, Women Offshore

Nicholas Williams

Maritime Safety and Social Responsibility Analyst

MARAD, Office of Cadet Training At-Sea Safety

Lunch – 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

A Conversation with Voices of the Future – 1:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Tamekia Flack, Deputy Maritime Administrator

MIDN Bryce Bristow, USMMA

MIDN Katie McGillicuddy, USMMA

Audience Break Out Discussions 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Your Voice Matters! Add your Perspective to our Conversation on

Implementing New Ideas

Break 3:00 pm – 3:15 pm

Reconvene and Farewell – 3:15 pm–3:30 pm

Panelist Bios:

Miriam Anthony holds a Chief Mate’s license and has been sailing since 2007.  Over the years she has taken ships all over the world, including Antarctica.  She has worked on tugs, fishing vessels, research vessels, heavy lift ships, container ships, Navy pre-positioned LMSRs, and car-carriers.  After witnessing need in the industry, she pursued licensure in Marriage and Family Therapy, and now brings mental health to mariners and their families.  Although she spends more time on advocacy and counseling, she still actively sails.  Miriam chairs the Mental Health Committee for Masters Mates and Pilots, and has been researching ways to improve the mental well-being of sailors.  In May 2022, Miriam published a follow-up survey and research to MARAD/ Dr. Marissa Baker’s November 2021 Survey/study.  Since February 2023, Miriam has been part of the counseling team at the California State University Maritime Academy, counseling cadets and sailing as the medical team’s mental health counselor on the Training Ship Golden Bear.  Since becoming a therapist, Miriam started, where she provides mental health consulting and counseling for mariners, unions, and companies.

Dr. Livingstone Caesar is an assistant professor of business analytics at the Texas A&M University in Galveston. He works with the Maritime Business Administration Department of the University, where he lectures in Business Statistics, Maritime Business Analytics and Research Methods. Before joining the Texas A&M University at Galveston in October 2021, Dr. Caesar was an Associate Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship at the SBS Swiss Business School (Zurich) and Nobel International Business School - NiBS (Accra) for four years. He was also the Director of the Doctor of Business Administration and Doctor of Business Leadership Programs during that time. He helped design and accredit the PhD in Business Administration program at NiBS. Dr Caesar also worked briefly as a Consultant Research Scientist on European Union grant projects at Ghana's Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. Dr Caesar holds a Ph.D in Management and Commerce from the University of Tasmania (specifically the Australian Maritime College), Australia. His PhD work focused on the human capital issues within the global maritime industry.

Claudia Cimini is the Executive Vice President of the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) and represents union members essential to our national maritime infrastructure. After graduating from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Claudia joined the MEBA. The union hall system provided her an opportunity to sail on vessels in the tanker, container, government contract and ferry sectors for over 20 years. She is a Chief Engineer and has also worked as Port Engineer and taught engineering classes between shipping jobs. Claudia currently serves on the Advisory Council and Board of Visitors for her alma mater and actively recruits new mariners. As a senior MEBA official, Claudia works to help the next generation of Chief Engineers -and other officers- earn a competitive wage in a good work environment and find their best career path.

Mr. Dennis Houghton is the Director of Marine Human Resources and Manning for Maersk Line, Limited, where he has been employed in Marine Human Resources for twenty-five years.  Previously he was an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard.  Mr. Houghton is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Hampton Roads SHRM, United States Coast Guard Academy Alumni Association, and Retired Officers Association.  He earned the professional designation of Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) from SHRM in May 2002.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Science from the United States Coast Guard Academy.

Jenny Johnson is the President of Maritime Inclusion Partners and possesses over 20 years of extensive maritime experience both at sea and ashore. She passionately advocates for a diverse, inclusive, and secure maritime industry. Throughout her time at sea, she encountered remarkable experiences that allowed her to travel the world, but unfortunately, she also faced gender-based harassment, discrimination, and violence. Her invaluable firsthand encounters have driven her to dedicate her career ashore to raising awareness regarding sexual harassment, assault, and all types of discrimination within the maritime sector. Jenny obtained a 100-ton Master, 200-ton Mate, and AB at age 21. For several years, Jenny continued to work on smaller vessels in the Pacific Northwest and Southern California, taking on roles such as Mate, Engineer, and even Master.

Captain Roshenda Josephs is a 2013 graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy, where she earned a B.S. in Logistics and Intermodal Transportation. Upon graduation, she immediately commissioned in the United States Naval Reserve and accepted employment with Military Sealift Command as a Third Officer. Captain Josephs has led Joint Military Operations and Navy Planning Processes involving emergency management and ordnance/cargo logistics. Most recently, she was in Command of the USNS CHOCTAW COUNTY (T-EPF 2) as Master of the vessel based in Naval Forces Central Command, 5th Fleet, supporting the Central Partnership Station in Beirut, Lebanon. Captain Josephs led the execution of CPS’s humanitarian and Disaster relief by delivering over 600 tons of cargo on station. In the Navy Reserves, she serves as a Lieutenant Commander in the Strategic Sealift Officer Program. Captain Josephs rose through the ranks to become the first black female Master at Military Sealift Command in early 2021. She was recently recognized by President Biden and Vice President Harris for the promotion to Ship’s Master in Military Sealift Command’s fleet of ships. In May 2023, Captain Josephs was appointed by the US Secretary of Transportation to the 1ST USMMA Advisory council for a 2-year term.

Megan Davidson leads the people, labor, and culture strategy across the company to elevate Crowley’s standing as an employer of choice and a provider of elite employee experience and development. Prior to joining Crowley in 2021, Megan had an extensive and productive career with British Petroleum (BP), holding various HR leadership roles beginning in 2010. Megan served as the vice president of people and culture, a role in which she oversaw the business partnering for more than 5,000 employees over a span of 50 countries. In addition, she guided the organization through a global economic transformation, led the development and implementation of multiple people, management, and business strategies, actively and successfully negotiated with labor unions as well as created and progressed global diversity and inclusion strategies.

Cassi Laskowski serves as the Executive Director of the Women Offshore Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to guiding women+ towards fulfilling careers by providing global networking opportunities and professional development resources. Cassi's involvement with the Women Offshore Foundation commenced through volunteering in 2019, eventually evolving into her appointment as Executive Director in January 2021. In her pioneering role, Cassi is unwaveringly committed to empowering women+ in traditionally male-dominated industries. Graduating with a degree in marine engineering from the United States Merchant Marine Academy and possessing a third assistant engineer USCG unlimited license, Cassi's expertise is rooted in practical experience. With hands-on experience at sea and as a design engineer at a major U.S. shipyard, Cassi knows first-hand the importance of bringing more women+ into the maritime and offshore industries and the unique challenges they may face while working at sea.

Cathleen Mauro began her maritime career after graduating from the State University of New York Maritime College in 1993. After graduation she sailed as a deck officer for American Maritime Officers progressing through the ranks to Master Unlimited.  After coming ashore in 2003 she worked in maritime training specializing in navigation and watchkeeping courses. In 2009, she accepted a position at the Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center (NMC) in the training and assessment division. At the NMC she served as the lead on the deck examination team before accepting a position at Coast Guard Head Quarters in 2015. Since 2019, she has been the Chief of the Maritime Personnel Qualifications division in the Office of Merchant Mariner Credentialing.

Fr. Sinclair is a priest of the Diocese of Beaumont, and a native of Port Arthur, Texas. Fr. Sinclair is the Executive Director and Port Chaplain of the Port Arthur International Seafarers’ Center, and the diocesan director for Stella Maris, the Catholic ministry to seafarers. On the national level, Fr. Sinclair served as the President of the Apostleship of the Sea of the United States of America from 2001-2013.  He also served as the unlicensed member on the US Coast Guard Merchant Marine Advisory Council from 1998-2013 and is a public member of the National Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee since 2021. Fr. Sinclair is a member of the United States Merchant Marine and holds credentials as an AB-Limited, and a 100 ton near coastal master license. He is a member of the Seafarers International Union. Since 2019, has sailed with the cadets of Texas A&M Maritime Academy, and mentors them in deck maintenance skills.

Adam Vokac is the National President of The Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) serving at the Union’s Headquarters in Washington D.C. Adam guided the Union through the pandemic, successfully helping mariners navigate through the worst of the crew change crisis that was created by restrictive global border and travel constraints. He ensured mariners were properly incentivized to support the vaccination effort and ensured the execution of company mandates didn’t cause undue harm on our mariner force. Adam has dedicated himself to tirelessly pursuing great-paying jobs with full benefits for MEBA members. Adam graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point as Valedictorian in 2000. Immediately after the ceremony he drove to MEBA’s New York/New Jersey Hall and joined the Union. He continued his education at MIT and earned master’s degrees in both Mechanical Engineering and Ocean Systems Management.

Nicholas Williams is a Licensed Unlimited Chief Engineer of Motor Vessels who joined MARAD’s Office of Cadet Training At-Sea Safety in February 2023 as a Maritime Safety and Social Responsibility Analyst to lead the implementation of the Every Mariner Builds a Respectful Culture (EMBARC) Standards Program for the protection of Cadets at Sea. Mr. Williams leads congressionally mandated checks of vessels that carry cadets to ensure compliance with the EMBARC Standards Program, as well as industry accountability. In 2023, Mr. Williams was awarded MARAD’s Bronze Medal for outstanding meritorious implementation of the EMBARC Standards Program. Mr. Williams is a Lieutenant Commander in the US Navy Reserve Strategic Sealift Officer Force and recipient of the Navy Commendation Medal. Mr. Williams graduated in 2014 from the United States Merchant Marine Academy with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marine Engineering and is an MBA candidate at Boston University.