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July 14, 2020

Dr. Jessica McWade Elected New Chair at SEA

After four years as Board Chair  of  Sea Education Association, Dr. Richard Cost passed the gavel to Dr. Jessica McWade at the SEA Annual Meeting, held on Zoom on Sunday, June 28th.

During his tenure, Dr. Cost, an SEA Trustee since 2015, President Emeritus of  the University of Maine at Fort Kent and retired Captain in the U.S. Naval reserve, led SEA through a period of strength, growth and challenges that included initiating Launching Leaders, the Campaign for Sea Education Association, our first comprehensive campaign in many years, as well as major maintenance of the SSV Corwith Cramer and SSV Robert C. Seamans, and the organization’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A long-time member of the SEA board, Dr. McWade is a graduate of Boston University (B.S.), New York University (M.B.A.), and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government (Two-Year M.P.A.). She has a doctorate in leadership and organizational development from George Washington University’s Executive Leadership Doctoral Program.

A former Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve,  Dr. McWade is president & CEO of McWade Group, Inc., a leadership and strategy development firm. Prior to that, she was executive vice president at Maguire Associates, and served as vice president, corporate affairs at Raytheon.

Dr. McWade and her husband, Dr. Walt Kuklinski, were married aboard SSV Robert C. Seamans at anchor off Fare, Huahine, French Polynesia, in January 2011.

Of her appointment to the chair at SEA, Dr. McWade said: “I’m honored to succeed Dick Cost as Chairman of this singular organization. There is nothing quite like our beloved Sea Education Association. SEA has seen considerable growth and advancement in so many areas under Dick’s effective leadership. Thank you, Captain Cost. Of course, we now face extremely challenging times brought about by the pandemic and global recession. We must pull together like never before to guide our organization toward restoration, renewal and better days ahead.”

Dr. Cost will remain on the board as Vice Chair. Also elevated to a senior position on the board is trustee Jeremy Salesin, who will serve as Vice Chair.

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