Messages from Leadership

Anthony Foxx

Anthony Foxx

U.S. Department of Transportation

As U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Foxx leads an agency with more than 55,000 employees and a $70 billion budget that oversees air, maritime, and surface transportation. His primary goal is to ensure that America maintains the safest, most efficient transportation system in the world.

Foxx joined the U.S. Department of Transportation after serving as the mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, from 2009 to 2013. During that time, he made efficient and innovative transportation investments the centerpiece of Charlotte's job creation and economic recovery efforts. These investments included extending the LYNX light rail system, the largest capital project ever undertaken by the city, which will build new roads, bridges, transit as well as bicycle and pedestrian facilities; expanding Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, the sixth busiest airport in the world; working with North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue to accelerate the I-485 outer belt loop using a creative design-build-finance approach, the first major project of its kind in North Carolina; and starting the Charlotte Streetcar project.

Prior to being elected mayor, Foxx served two terms on the Charlotte City Council as an At-Large Representative. As a Council Member, Foxx chaired the Transportation Committee, where he helped shepherd the largest transportation bond package in the city’s history, enabling Charlotte to take advantage of record low interest rates and favorable construction pricing to stretch city dollars beyond initial projections. Foxx also chaired the Mecklenburg-Union Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Foxx is an attorney and has spent much of his career in private practice. He also worked as a law clerk for the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, a trial attorney for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and staff counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary.

Foxx received a law degree from New York University’s School of Law as a Root-Tilden Scholar, the University’s prestigious public service scholarship. He earned a bachelor’s degree in History from Davidson College.

Foxx and his wife, Samara, have two children, Hillary and Zachary.

Major General John Peabody

Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations, US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

I am honored that Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Jo-Ellen Darcy has appointed me as Chair of the Coordinating Board of the Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS) on behalf of the Department of Defense, effective July 1, 2014. Established in 2004 and directed in statute, the CMTS is a great interagency partnership of Federal departments and agencies with responsibilities for the nation’s Marine Transportation System (MTS), which together coordinate Federal policies to optimize Federal efforts and create synergies for maritime transportation. The US Army Corps of Engineers has been a proud and active partner with our CMTS colleagues to advance the CMTS purpose and initiatives, and I am very proud to be a part of this team.

The United States’ waterborne transportation system provides amazingly significant, but largely under-appreciated, value to the American people. This value is based in the inherent realities and incredible natural advantages of our geographic location in the world—a continental nation with enormously long coastlines along the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans that are well-endowed with natural ports. This is further enhanced by the largest naturally navigable inland waterway system in the world, penetrating into over forty percent of the nation’s heartland. The geopolitical advantages the United States enjoys far surpass those of the entire rest of the world.

As the Chair of the Coordinating Board, I hope and intend to improve and advance the CMTS partnership in accomplishing the Committee’s goals in support of the Nation’s marine transportation system. Over the next year, we will do the following:

  • Provide Congress with a comprehensive assessment of the MTS
  • Revise the 2008 National Strategy for the MTS – A Framework for Action
  • Conduct a Cabinet Meeting led by the Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx
  • Work with the Department of Transportation and the Department of the Treasury to develop a toolbox for alternative financing implementation
  • Institute an aggressive MTS outreach initiative that will include the establishment of an MTS-related Federal Advisory Committee Designated Federal Officer Coordination Network and enhanced MTS educational exchange with Members of Congress
  • Re-establish the MTS Data Integrated Action Team, assuring adequate, accessible and seamless access to MTS-related data, and
  • Encourage employment of veterans through the Military to Mariner Initiative in support of the President’s Ladders of Opportunity program

I am excited to have the opportunity to work with so many exceptional Federal agency leaders to coordinate solutions to the CMTS challenges and advance initiatives to improve its future. Please contact the CMTS Executive Secretariat to recommend ways in which we can enhance the CMTS products and activities to better support your interests in the MTS.

A northern Ohio native, Major General Peabody entered military service in 1980 upon commissioning as a second lieutenant in the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), spending most of his career as a combat engineer.

He has had multiple staff assignments at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels as a Combat Engineer, as a Political-Military Advisor in US Southern Command covering Latin American issues, as the senior Engineer Trainer at the National Training Center, and for Army Legislative Liaison. He has commanded combat engineer units at the company, battalion, and brigade levels as well as three USACE Divisions for over eight consecutive years—in sequence, the Pacific Ocean, Great Lakes and Ohio River, and Mississippi Valley Divisions. He also served five years on the Mississippi River Commission, culminating as the 36th President of the Commission. He has had operational deployments to Honduras, El Salvador, Somalia, Kuwait, and Iraq, including command of the 3rd Infantry Division’s Engineer Brigade during the attack to Baghdad and subsequent transition to stability operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom I in 2003.

MG Peabody is a graduate of the United States Military Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree, the Command and General Staff College, and the Army War College with a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies. He also holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard University and studied international relations and political sociology as an Olmsted Scholar at El Colegio de Mexico, Mexico City. He holds a Professional Engineer License from the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

He and his wife Kelly spend their free time with their young daughter, Reagan.

Helen Brohl

Helen Brohl

Executive Director
U.S. Committee on the Marine Transportation System

In July 2014, I commemorated eight years as Executive Director of the US Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS). And what a whirlwind it has been! In the early years, much time was spent developing the organization, establishing day-to-day operations, and working to institutionalize the value of federal agency participation in support of the marine transportation system (MTS). Developing and adopting the first-ever National Strategy for the Marine Transportation System in 2008 was a significant Partnership milestone that set the stage for many other meaningful agreements and activities, including the Strategic Action Plan for Research and Development in the Marine Transportation System, the e-Navigation Strategic Action Plan, the joint resolution in support of the S-100 charting framework, and the U.S. Arctic Marine Transportation System recommendation report.

In addition, the CMTS and the Transportation Research Board have co-sponsored three MTS research and development conferences, and recently the CMTS developed the Federal Funding Handbook: Marine Transportation System Infrastructure and the Federal MTS Infrastructure Investment Data Map. As the years have passed, the CMTS partnership has been institutionalized and has become a reliable forum for the myriad of Federal MTS interests and in support of our Nation’s MTS.

In July 2013, the CMTS chairman, Anthony Foxx, delivered to the President the CMTS report U.S. Arctic Marine Transportation System: Overview and Priorities for Action. This report provides a comprehensive summary of over 20 federal activities and reports regarding the need for a systematic approach to advance the U.S. Arctic MTS. This CMTS report also informed the development of the White House integrated Arctic management report and the National Strategy for the Arctic Region.

The CMTS is an extraordinary federal interagency partnership of over 25 active members, including White House offices, and as the organization grows in value, so does its membership. In 2013 and 2014, our membership grew further; the National Ocean Council, the National Maritime Intelligent Integration Office and the Marine Mammals Commission joined the partnership! We remain indebted to the dedicated agency members who provide expertise and resources to the Executive Secretariat and CMTS activities.

In a fiscally constrained environment, working to leverage existing capabilities and reduce duplication of effort is more important than ever. I encourage you to review the CMTS Compendium of Federal Programs in the MTS (, which provides a quick at-a-glance visual on the breadth and scope of Federal MTS programs and a telling presentation of why the CMTS continues to be needed and of value to the U.S. MTS.

Welcome to the CMTS web site! Please peruse the contents and let us know where we can provide better and more informative information on the importance of the U.S. MTS to our Nation!

The CMTS is a Federal interagency coordinating committee directed by Congress and charter to improve the coordination of and make recommendations with regard to Federal policies that impact the MTS.