On 29 June, Professor Maximo Q. Mejia, Jr. assumed office as the eighth President of the World Maritime University (WMU). Appointed by the Secretary-General of the IMO, who also serves as Chancellor of the University, President Mejia assumes the role of Chief Executive Officer, overseeing and directing the academic programmes, operations and administration of the University. Professor Mejia is the first President from Asia and the first President who is a graduate of WMU.
Regarding his appointment, President Mejia said, “I thank the IMO Secretary-General and WMU Chancellor for granting me the esteemed privilege to lead the World Maritime University. Our unique connection to the IMO, our extensive global network, and our stellar postgraduate education prepare WMU graduates to serve as a force for good in the maritime and oceans sectors. I look forward to leading our eminent maritime and oceans scholars, researchers, and professionals to increase global capacity building in support of a blue economy.”
President Mejia is an accomplished global leader and scholar in maritime governance, policy, and administration. With over three decades of professional and academic experience, Professor Mejia is a passionate international advocate for the promotion of safe, secure, sustainable, and efficient shipping on clean oceans. He joined the WMU Faculty in 1998 and has held various positions within the University including Director of the PhD Programme, Head of the Maritime Law and Policy Specialization, Associate Academic Dean, and Nippon Foundation Professor of Maritime Policy, Governance, and Administration.
Professor Mejia served as Administrator/Director General at the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) from 2013 to 2016, heading the government agency responsible for integrating the development, promotion, and regulation of the maritime industry in the Philippines. From 1988 to 1998, he progressively held various positions in the Philippine Navy and Philippine Coast Guard including Assistant Chief of Staff for Navigational Safety and Deputy Executive Director of the Multisectoral Task Force on Maritime Development.
In 2013, Professor Mejia was included in the Lloyd’s List 100 Most Influential Persons in the Shipping Industry. He has served on several senior diplomatic assignments including Head of Delegation of the Philippines to IMO meetings (2013 -2016), Special Envoy of the President of the Philippines to the Inauguration of the Expanded Panama Canal (2016), and Chairperson of the 31st ASEAN Maritime Transport Working Group (2016).
The World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmö, Sweden is a postgraduate maritime university founded in 1983 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations. The mission of WMU is to be the world centre of excellence in postgraduate maritime and oceans education, professional training and research, while building global capacity and promoting sustainable development. WMU is an organization by and for the international maritime community and is committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Agenda.