Lauren Brand


Lauren Brand joined the National Maritime Safety Association (NMSA) as Executive Director in November 2019, bringing her vast transportation and shipping expertise to the marine terminal operator and stevedoring industry in Washington, DC.  As part of this role, she will also serve as the President to the National Association of Waterfront Employers. These non-profit associations strategically address safety, policy and regulatory issues.  NMSA also provides technical assistance in Washington, DC on marine terminal, stevedoring and port related safety and health issues.


October 2019, Mrs. Brand retired from the US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) where she was a member of the Senior Executive Service, serving as the Associate Administrator Office of Ports and Waterways.  While there Lauren directed a national port infrastructure modernization program of more than $2 billion; one that provides federal assistance for planning, funding and financing port and intermodal infrastructure projects. She was responsible for the continued development of America’s Marine Highway initiative as well as the Agency’s offshore energy licensing of deepwater ports, and the Port Conveyance program.   Lauren led the Maritime Transportation System National Advisory Committee (MTSNAC) and served on the Advisory Boards for the Department of Transportation’s National Advisory Committee on Travel and Transportation Infrastructure, the US Merchant Marine Academy and the Department’s Innovation Council.  And she coordinated regularly with the Department’s Build America Bureau, to provide assistance to complex multimodal/maritime infrastructure projects in the United States.


For 13 years, Lauren was the Senior Director for Business Development at Port Canaveral, FL, working with port based marine terminal operators to increase cargo business. She was part of the management team that worked to change the port from a niche cargo port to one of the top cruise ports in the world.  In the mid-1980’s, Lauren developed the International Trade-Customs Practice for Arthur Andersen & Co., serving as their U.S. Practice Director and Worldwide Coordinator.  She has also worked as a licensed U.S. Customhouse Broker and freight forwarder and served as the Import Manager for Hitachi Metals America in New York City.  If asked, she will tell you the most interesting stories are from her years owning a sport fishing marina and tiki bar in Cape Canaveral, FL.


Lauren has a degree in Transportation from Niagara University, earned a U.S. Customhouse Broker license in 1987 and, in 2000, earned a Professional Port Manager Certification from the American Association of Port Authorities.  Believing that continuing to learn will keep one younger, she completed the Federal Executive Institute’s Course Leadership for a Democratic Society in 2012 and in March 2019 earned an Executive Leadership Coaching Certification from Georgetown University.  Following on the heels of that training, Lauren became a Certified Professional, engaging the Leadership Circle Profile Assessment to assist leaders enhance their effectiveness.  April 2020, Lauren earned the Associate Certified Coach certification from the International Coach Federation.  Helping to grow the next generation of leaders is Lauren’s passion.


Bringing balance to her life is Malcolm, her husband and retired Royal Air Force Mission Commander, who is busy renovating their Florida home.