Vice Admiral Joanna M. Nunan
14th Superintendent of the United States Merchant Marine Academy
Vice Admiral Joanna Nunan assumed command of the United States Merchant Marine Academy on December 8, 2022. She is the first woman in Academy history to hold this role.
Nunan, who spent more than three decades in the U.S. Coast Guard, has commanded units at every level both afloat and ashore. Before her retirement, she was the Coast Guard’s Deputy for Personnel Readiness. In that role, she oversaw the Coast Guard’s entire personnel enterprise, including the recruitment, training, support, and retention of all active duty, reserve, and civilian personnel. She also supervised the Coast Guard Academy and served on its Board of Trustees.
She also served as the Assistant Commandant for Human Resources. In that role, among her many responsibilities, she helped spearhead efforts to expand diversity and inclusion in the Coast Guard, including formulating policy changes focused on increasing the retention of women in the service. She also served as a member of the Coast Guard’s Sexual Assault Prevention, Response, and Recovery Committee.
Earlier in her career, she served as the Military Advisor to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and John Kelly, as well as the Military Assistant to Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta. She also served more than nine years at sea-including commanding two buoy tenders-and previously served as the Commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District and as Commander of Coast Guard Sector Honolulu.
A Bridgeport, Connecticut native, Nunan graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1987 and received her Master of Business Administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic. She also holds several Coast Guard merchant marine licenses, including Master of vessels of not more than 1,600 gross tons and 3rd Mate on vessels of unlimited tonnage, upon oceans.
Joanna M. Nunan
Vice Admiral, USMS