Interim President Named for California State University Maritime Academy

Recently appointed CSU Maritime Academy Interim President Michael Dumont. Photo: California State University.

California State University (CSU) Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester has appointed retired Navy Reserve Vice Admiral Michael J. Dumont to serve as interim president of California State University Maritime Academy.

Dumont is expected to begin in his position on July 7, and would serve in that capacity until a new president is appointed by the CSU Board of Trustees.

He most recently served as deputy commander, U.S. Northern Command and vice commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) where, under the direction of the president of the United States and the secretary of defense, he was responsible for overseeing the protection of North America, providing homeland defense, maintaining cooperative security relationships, and supporting state, local and tribal authorities.

When not serving in uniform, he held senior policymaking roles in several agencies of the federal government including as a principal deputy assistant secretary of defense. Earlier in his career he was a litigation attorney with a private law firm representing businesses, municipal governments, and institutions of higher education.

He later served as a supervisory prosecuting attorney in Virginia before joining the U.S. Department of Justice where he handled aviation & admiralty litigation as well as major white collar fraud investigations.

Since leaving government service, Dumont has been employed as a strategy consultant to business, industry, and higher education.

“Vice Admiral Dumont possesses an extraordinary breadth and depth of specialized knowledge and skills that align with the unique needs of the California State University Maritime Academy,” Koester said in a statement.

Dumont’s teaching experience includes having served as a military instructor pilot, and as a legal instructor for the National Advocacy Center, the National College of District Attorneys, and the Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ Services Council.

He has also served as a guest lecturer for several institutions including the University of Southern Maine, the University of Idaho, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the University of New Mexico.

“Over the course of his illustrious careers in both the military and the civil service, he provided sage guidance to military leaders and governmental officials at the highest levels and has demonstrated superlative leadership skills,” Koester added.

In a statement, Dumont said that CSU’s Maritime Academy is an institution that provides life-changing opportunities for graduates who go on to become leaders in the industry.

“I am extremely appreciative of this opportunity to build on these efforts so that all women and men feel welcome and empowered as they pursue their educational goals and professional aspirations,” he said.

Dumont earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Maine, a Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School, a Master  of Science from the National War College and a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.

Dumont will be stepping into the shoes of Cal Maritime’s current president, Thomas A. Cropper, who in November 2022 announced that he would be retiring and stepping down from the position at the end of the academic year.

Cropper is the 14th president of Cal Maritime and has served in that capacity since July, 2012, following a 31-year career in the U.S. Navy. During his time in the Navy, he served as the commanding officer of an F/A-18 squadron and as commander of the air wing aboard the USS Nimitz.

Prior to his arrival at Cal Maritime, he directed education and at-sea training for Navy ships and aviation squadrons deploying to the western Pacific and the Middle East.  

Cal Maritime, which was established in 1929 under the name the California Nautical School, is a public university located in the Northern California city of Vallejo. It is part of the California State University system and is the only maritime academy on the West Coast of the United States. The university offers seven bachelor’s degree programs, including marine transportation, as well as a Master of Science in Transportation and Engineering Management program.