Bush Nominates Law School Alumnus to Maritime Post

Sean Connaughton
Sean Connaughton

President George W. Bush has nominated Mason alumnus Sean Connaughton (JD ’92) to lead the U.S. Maritime Administration.

Connaughton has stepped down from his position as chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors to take the post. The nomination still needs to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Connaughton graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in 1983 with a BS, a Third Mates (Unlimited Tonnage) Merchant Marine license and a commission in the U.S. Coast Guard. He served on active duty in the Coast Guard from 1983 to 1986. After leaving active duty, he briefly worked for a defense contractor in Arlington, Va.

He then returned to the Coast Guard as a civil servant in the Office of Marine Safety, Security and Environmental Protection at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. During this time, Sean attended Georgetown University part-time and graduated with a master’s degree in 1988.

In 1988, he began working at a trade association representing companies involved in the energy and marine transportation industries. He attended George Mason University School of Law at night and passed the Virginia State Bar in 1992.

Connaughton embarked on a career as a lawyer in private practice specializing in maritime and international law. He and a colleague appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1999 to argue a case involving the constitutionality of laws imposed on the marine transportation industry. They won that case in a unanimous decision.

He was elected chairman-at-large of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors in 1999. He was re-elected to a second four-year term in 2004.

Connaughton is on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments; the chief elected official of the Northern Virginia Workforce Investment Board; a member of the Board of Directors of the Skillsource Group Inc. of the Northern Virginia Workforce Investment Board and a member of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority.

In addition, he is a member of the Prince William Campus Advisory Board of George Mason University and the Woodbridge Campus Advisory Board of Northern Virginia Community College.

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