Women in Maritime Leadership Presenter Bios
2023 CONFERENCE SPEAKERS
Opening Keynote on March 1
Vice Admiral Joanna Nunan, 14th Superintendent of the United Stated Merchant Marine Academy, assumed command of the United States Merchant Marine Academy on December 8, 2022. She is the first woman in Academy history to hold this role.
Nunan, who spent more than three decades in the U.S. Coast Guard, has commanded units at multiple levels both afloat and ashore. Before her retirement, she was the Coast Guard’s Deputy for Personnel Readiness. In that role, she oversaw the Coast Guard’s entire personnel enterprise, including the recruitment, training, support, and retention of all active duty, reserve, and civilian personnel. She also supervised the Coast Guard Academy and served on its Board of Trustees.
She also served as the Assistant Commandant for Human Resources. In that role, among her many responsibilities, she helped spearhead efforts to expand diversity and inclusion in the Coast Guard, including formulating policy changes focused on increasing the retention of women in the service. She also served as a member of the Coast Guard’s Sexual Assault Prevention, Response, and Recovery Committee.
Earlier in her career, she served as the Military Advisor to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and John Kelly, as well as the Military Assistant to Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta. She also served more than nine years at sea—including commanding two buoy tenders—and previously served as the Commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District and as Commander of Coast Guard Sector Honolulu.
A Bridgeport, Connecticut native, Nunan graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1987 and received her Master of Business Administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic. She also holds several Coast Guard merchant marine licenses, including Master of vessels of not more than 1,600 gross tons and 3rd Mate on vessels of unlimited tonnage, upon oceans.
Dinner Speaker on March 1
ERICA COMPTON is Vice President of Talent Management and Shared Services at The Pasha Group, a
family-owned diversified global logistics and transportation services company based
in San Rafael. Erica joined Pasha in 2015 to support the Horizon Lines’ Hawaii business
acquisition, following 12 years leading Service Delivery & Quality Assurance at Horizon.
With her highly competent and energetic management style, she was quickly appointed
to oversee Enterprise Shared Services for container, automotive, and military household
goods shipping, and joined the Executive Management Team. In 2019, she expanded her
responsibilities to manage strategy and development of Pasha’s Talent Acquisition
and Training & Development.
Erica has spent her entire career in the maritime industry, with early beginnings at SeaLand at the age of 19. Surviving several company buyouts, Erica stayed the course, developing comprehensive experience in both domestic and international transportation and logistics. She has led several new business startups, always gravitating towards challenging assignments. Erica is passionate about helping others in the community and at work, and especially enjoys mentoring and coaching young professionals. Erica splits her time between Dallas, San Rafael, and Reno, but she’ll always be a Texas girl at heart. Fun Fact: She recently became an ordained minister.
Opening Speaker on March 2
Maritime Inclusion Partners LLC
Jenny Johnson (she/her) Founder and CEO
Jenny Johnson has 20+ years maritime experience including at sea and ashore. She is a fierce advocate for a diverse, inclusive and safe maritime industry. Her years at sea were filled with incredible experiences that took her around the world. But she also experienced gender-based harassment, discrimination and violence. She has brought these difficult experiences at sea to her career ashore to bring awareness around sexual harassment, assault and all forms of discrimination in the maritime industry. She believes that a career at sea should be available to all people. And every vessel should be free of all forms of harassment and discrimination and be a workplace that values and celebrates all dimensions of diversity.
Jenny is a certified HR professional with an extensive background in DEI unique to the maritime industry. She has led several sexual assault and sexual harassment prevention initiatives and is a recognized subject matter expert in that space. She also holds a credential as a victims’ advocate.
Closing Speaker on March 2
Captain Lynn Korwatch graduated from the California Maritime Academy and was a member of the first class of women to attend a service academy. After sailing in various capacities as a deck officer she received her unlimited Master’s license qualifying her to command vessels of any tonnage, on any ocean and in 1988 she was the 1st woman to command a US commercial vessel.
Until recent retirement she was Executive Director of the Marine Exchange of the San Francisco Bay Region (SFMX), a non-profit membership organization that was founded in 1849 and is the second oldest corporation in California.
Captain Korwatch served as Chair of the SF Harbor Safety Committee and is currently a member of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, Seaport Advisory Committee. She has also been a member of the Northern California Area Security Committee (AMSC), the Marine Transportation System National Advisory Council (MTSNAC). She was appointed by Governor Brown to the Office of Spill Prevention and Response Technical Advisory Committee serves on the NOAA CeNCOOS Council and is on the Board of Directors of the SS Jeremiah O’Brien Liberty Ship Foundation. Captain Korwatch is a past President of the Marine Information System of North America (MISNA).
She has also served on the USCG Navigation Safety Advisory Committee, the USCG Merchant Personnel Advisory Committee and the USCG Evergreen Project.
Captain Korwatch has been honored as the Navy League “Woman of the Year”, has received the Women in Transportation “Glass ceiling Award”, was the Propeller Club of the Gate “Woman of the Year”, honored as a Cal Martine Academy Distinguished Alumni and the Lifetime Achievement Award, and has received several certificates of merit from the US Coast Guard and was an answer of the game show “Jeopardy”.
She was President of the California Maritime Academy Alumni Association and currently serves as Treasurer and serves on the CMA Foundation. Captain Korwatch has been married for 45 years to a retired ship’s Chief Engineer and has a son who is also a graduate of Cal Maritime.
Session Panelists Bios