In June, the International Christian Maritime Association (ICMA), an association of 28 Christian not-for-profit seafarer welfare organizations, named Douglas B. Stevenson as its new Chairman. Stevenson, Director of the Seamen’s Church Institute’s (SCI) Center for Seafarers’ Rights, succeeds former, retired chairman, the Rev. Hero Feenders of the Deutsche Seemannsmission. The 8 members of ICMA’s Executive Committee, including the new Chairman, work for separate, independent ministries to mariners, collaborating as member organizations of the 40-year-old seafarers’ ministry partnership.
ICMA promotes ecumenical cooperation among a variety of ministries to seafarers. Its charter and Code of Conduct explain that each member organization should provide for “seafarers, fishers, and their dependants regardless of nationality, religion, culture, gender, or ethnic origin.” ICMA’s membership represents 526 seafarers’ centers and 927 chaplains in 126 countries.
Serving on ICMA’s Executive Committee since 2007, Stevenson embarks upon a new responsibility as Chairman. Earlier this month, Stevenson said, “I am honored to work in ICMA with leaders of other maritime ministry organizations. ICMA and what it represents—a common desire for the welfare of mariners—is important and harmonizes with the work that we do at SCI.”
Stevenson’s appointment is one of several modifications to ICMA’s Executive Committee in the new fiscal year. About the changes, the Rev. Hendrik F. la Grange, ICMA Secretariat, blogged, “ICMA wishes every blessing on the members of the Executive Committee who are taking up new roles.”
Stevenson has served as the Director of the Center for Seafarers’ Rights at SCI since 1990. A maritime lawyer and retired US Coast Guard officer, Stevenson works simultaneously one-on-one with merchant mariners requiring legal assistance and globally with international governments and organizations to establish and enforce fair practices that protect the men and women of the maritime workforce. He continues work as Director of SCI’s Center for Seafarers’ Rights alongside other leadership roles in maritime ministry.