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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

USMMA Names Academic Dean and Provost

KINGS POINT, N.Y., Sep. 12, 2018 - The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point (USMMA) announced today that John R. Ballard, Ph.D., has been named the new Academic Dean and Provost at the federal service academy. In this position, Dr. Ballard will serve as the chief academic officer and principal advisor to the Superintendent in all matters relating to the academic program and faculty. He will also co-chair the educational priority working group for the recently released USMMA strategic plan.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Ballard to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy as the Academic Dean and Provost,” said Rear Admiral James A. Helis, Ph.D., Superintendent of the Academy. “Dr. Ballard brings a wealth of leadership and academic experience to the team and we look forward to a bright future with him leading the faculty and the academic program.” 

Dr. Ballard served as a Marine Infantry officer immediately following graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy. He commanded Marines at the platoon, company, battalion and group levels, in both the active and reserve components, served in peace operations in Haiti, and commanded Marines, Soldiers and Sailors in combat during the Iraq War.

His academic experience includes service at the Joint Forces Staff College, New Zealand’s Massey University, the Naval War College, and as the Dean of Faculty and Academic Programs at the National War College. He was also the founding Dean of the National Defense College in the United Arab Emirates. Most recently, he served as the Vice President for Veteran’s and Military Partnerships and Director of the Service members Opportunity Colleges at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

He is a published author and has lectured and presented seminars around the world on matters of national security, leadership and military history. He has published six books and is awaiting publication of his latest work, the co-authored book, National Security Education: Developing Strategic Leaders for 21st Century Security Challenges.

He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy (B.S.), California State University, Dominquez Hills (M.A.), and The Catholic University of America (Ph.D.). Dr. Ballard has been recognized with a Distinguished Writing Award from the Army Historical Foundation and a Department of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Medal. His military decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, and the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star medals for service in combat during the Iraq War.

The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, located in Kings Point, N.Y, educates and graduates leaders of exemplary character who are inspired to serve the national security, marine transportation, and economic needs of the United States as licensed Merchant Marine Officers and commissioned officers in the Armed Forces. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Merchant Marine Academy. The Academy, which was established under the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, was dedicated as the United States Merchant Marine Academy in 1943 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It is administered by the Maritime Administration under the auspices of the Department of Transportation.

Last updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2018

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