CMTS Chair

Pete Buttigieg - Secretary of Transportation Chair of the CMTS
Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg currently serves as the 19th Secretary of Transportation, having been sworn in on February 3, 2021.

Prior to joining the Biden-Harris Administration, Secretary Buttigieg served two terms as mayor of his hometown of South Bend, Indiana. A graduate of Harvard University and a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, Buttigieg served for seven years as an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve, taking a leave of absence from the mayor’s office for a deployment to Afghanistan in 2014.

He is the son of Joseph Buttigieg, who immigrated to the United States from Malta, and Jennifer Anne Montgomery, a fifth-generation Hoosier.

Growing up in South Bend—which was once home to Studebaker car manufacturing—Pete Buttigieg, like many other Americans in the industrial Midwest, grew up surrounded by empty factories and abandoned houses, sometimes hearing that the only way to a good future was to get out.

He returned to the Midwest after school, worked in the private sector, and was elected Mayor of South Bend in 2011 with a focus on delivering a new future for the city through a fresh approach to politics and bold ideas.

Soon known as “Mayor Pete,” Buttigieg worked across the aisle to transform South Bend’s future and improve people’s everyday lives. Household income grew, poverty fell, and unemployment was cut in half. The city established new resources to extend opportunity and access to technology for all residents, and he launched a “Smart Streets” initiative to improve street design in the downtown and the historically under-resourced West Side. This Complete Streets strategy led to benefits that included small business growth along previously neglected corridors, and hundreds of millions of dollars in new private investment in the once-emptying downtown.

His leadership helped spark citywide job growth and facilitated innovative public-private partnerships like Commuters Trust, a benefits program designed to improve the city’s transportation experience for workers.

At the same time, Mayor Pete worked to build a South Bend community where every resident could feel safe and included. His initiative on municipal identification cards for residents helped to bring undocumented immigrants out of the shadows, while a small business incubator established in a historically Black neighborhood worked to expand opportunity, and a surge of investment went into repairing or removing abandoned houses in lower-income neighborhoods.

In 2019, he launched his historic campaign for president. Throughout 2020, he campaigned for the election of the Biden-Harris ticket and served on the advisory board for the presidential transition. In December, he was nominated by President-elect Biden to be Secretary of Transportation. He was confirmed by the Senate on February 2, 2021, becoming the first openly gay person confirmed to serve in a president’s Cabinet.

Secretary Buttigieg lives with his husband Chasten and their rescue dogs, Buddy and Truman.

Coordinating Board Chair

MG William "Butch" Graham - Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
Lucinda Lessley

It is my honor to have been designated by Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III as the chair of the U.S. Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS) Coordinating Board for the term August 1, 2022 to July 31, 2023. The CMTS has grown into a strong and productive maritime policy coordinating committee through which the Federal maritime-related agencies engage to support our nation's marine transportation system. Under my term as Coordinating Board chair, the CMTS will further strengthen the federal partnership by enhancing our unity of effort to further the requirements for an Efficient, Equitable, and Sustainable Marine Transportation System. This goal is aligned with the Biden-Harris Administration and seeks to complete or continue many actions under each priority area - including the completion of the 2023-2028 National Strategy for the Marine Transportation System - as well as expand the understanding of the value of the Marine Transportation System (MTS) and the Federal role through a number of outreach initiatives. Our nation may continue to experience challenges to the supply chain, particularly to the MTS. There has never been a more important time to heighten our unity of effort under the CMTS partnership. The health and wellbeing of the MTS workforce requires that we remain vigilant in our advocacy for a working environment that supports safety, security, recruitment, retention, and diversity - in our own organizations as well as the broader MTS. The urgency to reduce carbon emissions requires that the agencies share information to value-add resources and reduce duplication to push the MTS toward true sustainability. The rapidly changing Arctic and greater dependency on the maritime transportation supply chain emphasize the need to ensure a safe and secure MTS. The 2022-2023 work plan priorities under DOD leadership to the Coordinating Board are: Strengthen the Interagency Unity of Effort; Ensure Purposeful Leadership to Support the Health and Welfare of the Mariner and MTS Workforce; Jointly Promote and Enhance a More Sustainable MTS; and Support Administration Initiatives for an Efficient, Safe, and Secure Supply Chain.

MG Graham received his commission from the Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1989 from the University of Pittsburgh. He is an Engineer Officer who has commanded Soldiers at all levels up to division. His commands include: A Company, 1st Engineer Battalion, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Riley, Kansas; 40th Engineer Battalion, 2d Brigade, 1st Armored Division, United States Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany, and OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, Iraq; United States Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and North Atlantic Division, United States Army Corps of Engineers, Brooklyn, New York. Previous assignments also include: Platoon Leader, B Company and later Executive Officer, A Company, 23d Engineer Battalion, 1st Brigade, 3d Armored Division, United States Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany, and in support of OPERATION DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM, Saudi Arabia; Assistant Operations Officer and later Assistant Division Engineer, Engineer Brigade, 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Riley, Kansas; Battalion Operations Officer, 1st Engineer Battalion, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Riley, Kansas; Operations Officer and later Deputy Commander, United States Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Plans and Operations Officer, Division Engineer Section, G-3, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; Executive Officer, 588th Engineer Battalion, 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Hood, Texas, and in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, Iraq; Executive Officer, Engineer Brigade, 1st Armored Division, United States Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany; Division Engineer, 1st Armored Division, United States Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany, and in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, Iraq; Director, Coalition-Joint Engineering Directorate, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, and in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, Afghanistan; Chief of Staff, United States Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DC; and Director, Task Force Enhanced Security Zone, OPERATION RESOLUTE SUPPORT, Afghanistan. Graham is a graduate of the Senior Service College Fellowship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Joint and Combined Warfighting School, and United States Army Command and General Staff College. He holds a Bachelor's of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master's of Science in Environmental Engineering from the University of Kansas. His awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit (with one bronze oak leaf cluster), Bronze Star Medal (with four bronze oak leaf clusters), Meritorious Service Medal (with three bronze oak leaf clusters), Army Commendation Medal (with one bronze oak leaf cluster), Army Achievement Medal (with one bronze oak leaf cluster), and the Combat Action Badge.

Executive Director, Executive Secretariat

Helen Brohl - Executive Director U.S. Committee on the Marine Transportation System
Helen Brohl

When I began with the CMTS as its first Executive Director in July 2006, I was confident that a successful interagency partnership of MTS-related agencies could be - and it has. I did not, then, have a vision for the breadth and scope and quality of work that could be performed by the interagency partnership but it is astounding. There are 13 operating subcommittees working on subjects ranging from navigation safety to innovative technologies to environmental resilience to the MTS workforce. The new National Strategy on the Marine Transportation System for 2023 to 2028 is on the horizon, which will be supported by yearly and dynamic CMTS work plans. CMTS leadership could not be stronger from the Secretary of Transportation to the Coordinating Board to the co-leads of our many task teams. If one measure of the value of a committee is the investment of time and expertise of its members, the CMTS is very rich indeed.

As I consider my future beyond the CMTS in early 2023, I am confident that the legacy of work by our members will continue to inspire the partnership as it considers new and emerging issues within the MTS. To ensure that the previous hard work is not forgotten, the CMTS now publishes its work products in the National Transportation Library: The CMTS partnership with the Marine Board of the National Academy of Sciences has been cemented through seven biennial science and technology-related conferences; the summary of the last conference about autonomous technologies available at: We are now engaged with the American Association of Port Authorities to present a yearly panel discussions in support of MTS infrastructure, the latest at: The CMTS continually flexes in response to issues of importance evidenced by the establishment of the Mariner and MTS Workforce Integrated Action Team in early 2022, as well as the Offshore Energy Facilitation Task Team which is developing national guidance related to the discovery of munitions and explosives of concern related to offshore wind energy development.

The CMTS is a well-established and trusted forum in which to engage the 25+ MTS-related agency members. We are now a principal on the White House Ocean Policy Committee and the Arctic Executive Steering Committee. We support the Global Maritime Coordination Center and the Maritime Operational Threat Response practices. Since October 2006, we have never failed to hold a quarterly Coordinating Board meeting - even under pandemic. Our leadership has often said that if you did't have a CMTS, you'd have to create one to rally the many agencies engaged in maritime transportation. Well, we have one and it works because of the dedication of its members and leadership. I have the best job in government!