About AMC - Staff

James E. Caponiti


James Caponiti Mr. Caponiti was appointed President of the American Maritime Congress (AMC) in March 2014. He joined AMC as Executive Director in October 2011 at the completion of more than 38 years of distinguished service with the Federal Government. AMC is a research and educational organization dedicated to informing the public, media, and government officials on policy and issues affecting the U.S.-flag merchant marine and the maritime industry.

Mr. Caponitiís predominant government service was his 37-year tenure with the Maritime Administration (MARAD) in the Department of Transportation. At MARAD, Mr. Caponiti performed in a variety of key management and executive positions culminating in his May 2008 appointment as Assistant Administrator, the senior Civil Servant and senior career Senior Executive Service Officer in the Agency. In that role, he assisted the Maritime Administrator and Deputy Maritime Administrator in the daily management and oversight of the entire range of complex programs administered by MARAD. His responsibility included the development of Agency strategic planning and policy analysis processes, and he served as the Agency lead for international relations.

During the transition to new political leadership from January 2009 to July 2009, Mr. Caponiti led MARAD as the Acting Deputy Maritime Administrator. During an earlier period of transition, Mr. Caponiti served from January 2001 to October 2002 as the Acting Deputy Maritime Administrator for Inland Waterways and Great Lakes.

Mr. Caponiti was appointed to the Senior Executive Service (SES) in March 1996 as the Maritime Administration's Associate Administrator for National Security where he served until May 2008. In that capacity, he was responsible for promoting and maintaining a U.S. merchant fleet to meet national security requirements. He was also responsible for the acquisition, maintenance, and management of a reserve fleet of Government-owned vessels to support Department of Defense sealift operations. Prior to his SES appointment, Mr. Caponiti was named Director, Office of Sealift Support, within the newly designated National Security area, as part of a major reorganization of the Maritime Administration in October 1994. In that capacity, he was responsible for developing and executing programs to maintain and utilize U.S. commercial sealift capability and seafaring personnel.

Mr. Caponiti served 14 years as the Chairman of the North Atlantic Treaty Organizationís (NATO) Planning Board for Ocean Shipping (PBOS), commencing with his election in October 1997 and continuing through four re-elections until his resignation at the time of his retirement from Federal service in September 2011. NATO PBOS (since 2010, known as Transport Group Ė Ocean Shipping) is responsible for developing and maintaining plans for civil shipping support to deploy NATO military forces during times of crisis and war.

In 1993, Mr. Caponiti served on a detail to the Merchant Marine Subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he worked closely with Chairman William Lipinski in developing legislation to revitalize the U.S. Merchant Marine. That effort contributed significantly to the eventual passage of legislation to authorize and implement the Maritime Security Program.

In 1984, Mr. Caponiti received the Maritime Administration's Bronze Medal Award for his outstanding contributions to the Operating-Differential Subsidy Program. In 1996, he received the Department of Transportationís Silver Medal Award for outstanding dedication and performance while advancing the Administration's merchant marine assistance programs and the Voluntarily Intermodal Sealift Agreement Program. In 2004, Mr. Caponiti received the Secretary of Transportationís War on Terrorism Award. In 2000 and 2005 respectively, Mr. Caponiti received the Presidential Meritorious Rank Award and the Presidential Distinguished Rank Award, the highest Civil Service awards for Senior Executives.

Mr. Caponiti earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland in Business Administration, and he served in the Army National Guard from 1969 to 1975. He and his wife, Arlene, have a daughter and two sons. They reside in Rockville, Maryland.

Dianne Lauer

Executive Assistant

Dianne Lauer Dianne has been with the AMC since 1999 and resides in Annapolis, Maryland.

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