KINGS POINT, N.Y., January 25, 2013 – The United States Merchant Marine Academy welcomed its new Deputy Superintendent during a Town Hall meeting that was held at Ackerman Auditorium today. Rear Admiral Susan L. Dunlap was commissioned into the United States Maritime Service by Deputy Secretary of Transportation John Porcari in the presence of administration, faculty, staff and the Regiment of Midshipmen. Maritime Administrator David Matsuda also attended the commissioning ceremony along with Marlise Streitmatter, chief of staff for the Department of Transportation.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Captain Dunlap on-board to help continue the important work of training and preparing the next generation of Merchant Mariners,” said deputy secretary Porcari. “Her invaluable experience will help ensure a bright future for the Academy.”

Dunlap, an experienced and highly decorated 28-year Navy veteran, holds a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College and Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University. Admiral Dunlap most recently served as U.S. Naval Forces Africa, director Africa Engagement Group, where she provided direct oversight of all maritime theater security cooperation with Africa, including the internationally-recognized Africa Partnership Station program. During her years of service, Dunlap was awarded the Legion of Merit (three gold stars), the Meritorious Service Medal (three gold stars), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three gold stars), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and various other campaign and service awards.

“Thank you all for having faith in choosing me for this position. I assure you I am the right one; I am going to work hard to justify your faith in me,” said Dunlap, deputy superintendent. “Let me get off this stage and get to work.”

Following the commissioning ceremony, Rear Admiral James A. Helis, Ph.D., superintendent, briefed all present on the Academy budget, capital improvement plan, progress on the implementation of the Academy’s Strategic Plan and took questions from attending midshipmen, faculty and staff. At the conclusion, Admiral Helis, wished the new Deputy Superintendent a very warm, “Welcome aboard!”

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