Christopher J. McMahon
Acting Associate Administrator for Environment and Compliance
Christopher McMahon was appointed to the position of Deputy Associate Administrator, Environment and Compliance, at the Maritime Administration in September, 2008. In this position, along with the Associate Administrator, he has been responsible for the Maritime Administration Offices of Safety, Security and Environment. Since the retirement of the Associate Administrator in July, 2012, Mr. McMahon has been serving as Acting Associate Administrator.
Mr. McMahon is a 1977 graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York, where he graduated with a B.S. in Marine Transportation, a commission as Ensign, U.S. Naval Reserve, and an unlimited U.S. Coast Guard license. Following graduation, he sailed for more than a decade aboard U.S. flag merchant vessels engaged in worldwide trade. He is a U.S. Coast Guard licensed unlimited master of steam and motor vessels with a master of sail endorsement.
Beginning in 1984, in between periods at sea and as a commissioned Maritime Service officer, Mr. McMahon served as an associate professor at Kings Point and later as Director of Waterfront Activities and Sailing Master. He was founding Director of the Global Maritime and Transportation School (GMATS).
Following the September 11th attacks on America in 2001, the Secretary of Transportation appointed Mr. McMahon as his Special Assistant responsible for coordinating surface transportation security. He was promoted by the Secretary to Rear Admiral (Lower Half), U.S. Maritime Service in 2004 and to Rear Admiral (Upper Half) in 2005. During this period, he was assigned to Baghdad as the Transportation Counselor to the Ambassador and Multi-National Forces Iraq and as Director of the Iraqi Reconstruction Management Office of Transportation. In that capacity, he was responsible for rebuilding Iraq’s airports, seaports, railroads, and other transportation infrastructure. He later served in Washington as Acting Director of the Department of Transportation’s Office of Intelligence, Security, and Emergency Response. From 2006 to 2008, he served as Deputy Superintendent of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
Mr. McMahon has graduate degrees from the American University, Long Island University, and Starr King Seminary at the Graduate Theological Union, University of California, Berkeley. He is also an ordained and practicing Unitarian Universalist minister.
Mr. McMahon has multiple awards and decorations including two Secretary of Transportation gold medals.