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Wakeman to Manage Iraq Port Recovery

Thomas H. Wakeman III, who oversees The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s $2 billion port dredging program, has been appointed by the U.S. Department of Defense to assist Iraq in rebuilding its national port system.

When he arrives in Iraq, Wakeman will be responsible for working with the Ministry of Transportation’s Iraqi Port Authority to rebuild the country’s maritime transportation system, including related port and waterway infrastructure and freight handling terminals. He will initially focus on Iraq’s major port, the Port of Umm Qasr, and also will focus on the country’s four other maritime facilities, including the Port of Basrah.

Wakeman said the Iraqi ports and waterways are littered with wrecked vessels, and major dredging work will be needed before they can handle the larger ships that are used by today’s ocean carriers.

"My role will be to help the Iraqi government to create a port system that meets the transportation and logistics needs of the country,” said Wakeman. “The ports are a strategic asset for Iraq and their revitalization will greatly improve economic activity throughout the country.”

Wakeman will serve as the Principal Maritime Advisor to the Iraq Ministry of Transportation for up to 18 months beginning on March 1. While in Iraq, he will be on a leave of absence from his Port Authority job as General Manager of Waterways Development in the Port Commerce Department. He will report to Ambassador Darrell Trent, the Coalition Provisional Authority’s senior advisor to the Iraqi Ministry of Transportation. Ambassador Trent reports to Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III, Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority.

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