Maitland to receive honorary doctorate from SUNY Maritime
Clay Maitland, a managing partner at International Registries Inc., which manages the Marshall Islands registry, will receive an honorary doctorate degree from the State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College.
Maitland will receive his degree Sunday, at commencement exercises to be held at the Maritime College at Fort Schuyler in the Bronx, New York City.
In remarks prepared for his acceptance, Maitland urges the world maritime community to increase its financial and moral support of seafarers’ education and training.
“At a time when we are seeing a great expansion in the number and complexity of merchant ships, with increasingly sophisticated technology, and a growing national and international regulatory burden, the recruitment, education and training of qualified seafarers must stay ahead of demand,” Maitland said. “Support for education and training must come from private industry, through a closer partnership with all of the stakeholders in our maritime community.”
The Marshall Island registry is the fourth-largest in the world, with vessels totaling 32.8 million gross registered tons, behind only Panama (155 million grt), Liberia (68.4 million grt) and the Bahamas (40.8 million grt).
IRI has its roots in Liberian Services, which administered the Liberian registry for many years. The registry was founded in 1948 under the leadership of Edward R. Stettinius, U.S. Secretary of State during the latter part of World War II.
After the violent Liberian coup of April 1980 and the civil war of 1990 the company entered into an agreement with the Republic of the Marshall Islands, a newly independent nation in the central Pacific, which had been under U.S. trusteeship after 1945, to develop a new maritime and corporate program.
International Registries Inc. was formed in 1990 as the parent corporation for its affiliates. In 1993, IRI became a privately held company owned and operated by its senior employees, and severed ties with the Liberian Registry on Jan. 1, 2000.
“Ship registries, in particular, are now at the leading edge of maritime safety and environmental regulation and enforcement,” Maitland said in his prepared remarks. “We must have an adequate pool of talented personnel from which to recruit a well-trained multinational workforce, just as ship owners do.
“Just like our global society, the world of shipping is getting flatter; there are fewer big players, including the major ship registries. With the Marshall Islands now one of the top four registries of the world, we want to see other flags recognize and embrace the demand for qualified mariners,” he said. “We are concerned about the sourcing of tomorrow’s quality seafarers, and their ability to access educational and training resources at the world’s leading maritime academies and training centers. It is vital that we act today for tomorrow.”
Maitland was born in London, received his college degree from Columbia University in New York City, and his legal education at New York Law School in 1968. After training at the law firm of Burlingham Underwood in New York, he joined International Registries in 1976.
He noted that “since its founding in 1948, International Registries has had a close relationship with SUNY’s Maritime College, and has employed several generations of its graduates. We are very proud of this association, which is flourishing now as never before.”