PMSA Announces Leadership Transition

(Left) John McLaurin. (Right) Mike Jacob. Photos: Pacific Merchant Shipping Association.

Longtime Pacific Merchant Shipping Association President John McLaurin has said that he intends to retire early next year, prompting PMSA’s Board of Directors to adopt a leadership transition plan that has PMSA Vice President and General Counsel Mike Jacob taking the reins in 2024, the organization announced Sept. 26.

McLaurin has served as PMSA president for 28 years. Previously, was employed by American President Lines, the American Petroleum Institute and the Marine Spill Response Corporation. He is a University of California Davis graduate, and holds a law degree from Southwestern University.

In 2013, he received the Connie Award from the Container & Intermodal Institute. Connie recipients are recognized for their significant influence on containerization in world trade and transportation.

Jacob, who joined the PMSA in 2005, currently serves as the organization’s general counsel and advises the shipping association on legal, statutory and regulatory matters, and regularly testifies on behalf of industry at administrative and legislative hearings.

He’s also the association’s liaison with outside counsel and advocates and is a regular lecturer and presenter at industry conferences and events.

Prior to joining PMSA, Jacob worked in various capacities in the California state legislature as well as providing strategic consulting to local transportation agencies in the Bay Area, including the Port of Oakland and the Bay Area Rapid Transit District.

He earned a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law and holds a BA in Economics from UC Berkeley. He’s a member of the State Bar of California and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar as well as the Maritime Law Association of the United States.

“Mike is ideally positioned to lead PMSA into the future during a time of profound change in the industry,” McLaurin said in a statement. “He has been a trusted partner and friend for almost 20 years. His strategic vision is relied upon by PMSA member companies, decision-makers at multiple levels of government, supply chain partners and PMSA staff.”

PMSA’s board thanked McLaurin for his representation of the organization, which included a consolidation of U.S. West Coast maritime organizations, said longtime PMSA board member Mark Johnson, who’s the vice president of government affairs for SSA Marine.

“The PMSA Board has determined that Mike Jacob is the best person to succeed John and serve as the organization’s next president,” Johnson said. “Mike’s intellect, dedication to the maritime industry, and his extraordinary efforts on behalf of PMSA made it clear that he is the ideal candidate to lead our organization into the future.”

Jacob said he looks forward to his new role and working with McLaurin and the board in the coming months.

“I will continue to pursue and build on PMSA’s successes and efforts under John’s leadership to enact policies that encourage economic and investment growth, market share protection and a feasible, sustainable transition to a cleaner environment,” Jacob said.