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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Deputy Associate Administrator for Commercial Sealift

Melinda Simmons-Healy


Melinda Simmons-Healy, a member of the Senior Executive Service, became the Maritime

Melinda Simmons Healy
Melinda Simmons- Healy

Administration’s (MARAD) Deputy Associate Administrator for Commercial Sealift in November of 2023.

In this capacity, Ms. Simmons-Healy provides leadership and oversight to the Office of Sealift Support, which includes the Maritime Security Program (MSP), the Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreements (VISA), the Vessel Transfer Program, Tanker Security Program, and the Mariner Medals and Flag Programs; and to the Office of Cargo and Commercial Sealift, which administers Cargo Preference and oversees domestic shipping under the Jones Act.

Previously, Ms. Simmons-Healy served as a Deputy Director within MARAD’s Office of Ship Operations, specifically she oversaw the operation of Fleet Program Management for the operation and management of the National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF), including the quick response component of the fifty-six ships in the Ready Reserve Force, including the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and State Maritime Academies training ships.  She managed the (3) NDRF anchorages and facilities located in VA, TX, and CA. Additionally, she oversaw the project for decommissioning of the Nuclear Ship Savannah, and the Office of Ship Disposal programs. 

Ms. Simmons-Healy joined MARAD in 2010 as a Supervisory Contract Specialist serving as the Chief of Contract Office (COCO) for MARAD’s field-activity area divisions located in Norfolk, New Orleans, and Oakland.

Before joining MARAD, she served over 20 years with the Department of Defense as contracting officer in a variety of increasingly complex assignments with both the Departments of Navy and Army, including Naval Sea Systems Command, Naval Supply Command, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Army Contracting Command, and the Training and Doctrine Command in Hampton Roads, VA.

Ms. Simmons-Healy is a graduate of Regis University with a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), Summa Cum Laude.  She’s also completed the University of Virginia (UVA), Darden’s School of Business, Executive Education Certificate in Management and the Office of Personnel Management, Federal Executive Institute, Leadership for a Democratic Society, UVA, Charlottesville, VA. 

Ms. Simmons-Healy’s certifications include the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) and Federal Acquisition Certification (FAC) in both Contracting and Contracting Officer’s Representative; DOD’s Army Acquisition Certified and FAC Program Management.

Notable awards received include the Department of Army’s Meritorious Civilian Service Award and the Civilian Service Commendation Award; the Maritime Administration’s Superior Achievement Award for developing and managing the contract execution for the destruction at sea of 600-tons of Syria’s declared chemical weapons, coordinating with multiple federal agencies and funded by Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA); and MARAD’s Bronze Award for her significant contributions and measurable improvements while serving as Acting Chief of Staff at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.