Maritime & Coastguard Agency appoints Virginia McVea as Chief Executive Officer

Virginia McVea has been appinted as the MCA's Chief Executive Officer
Virginia McVea has been appinted as the MCA’s Chief Executive Officer

Virginia McVea will become the new Chief Executive Officer of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA), overseeing the work of the agency as it responds to tens of thousands of incidents at sea every year, inspects thousands of UK-registered ships and protects over 11,000 miles of our coastline.

Her appointment comes at an important time for the MCA, as it continues working to ensure the UK is the world’s best-performing coastal state and takes a leading role in both the international and domestic maritime arenas.

In her previous roles, Virginia was the CEO of the Human Rights Commission and most recently the Chief Electoral Officer of Northern Ireland – the largest single electoral administrative area for the UK.

She will also be responsible for:
– helping to support the UK’s transition to zero emission shipping by 2050;
– supporting regulation updates;
– encouraging the uptake of new technologies;
– facilitating trials of new green innovations.

Virginia will begin her new role on Monday 3 April 2023, following the previous MCA Chief Executive Officer Brian Johnson’s decision to retire last year.

Maritime Minister Baroness Vere said:
“I would like to welcome and congratulate Virginia.

“She joins at a pivotal time for the agency as it faces both challenges and exciting opportunities, and I look forward to working with her to grow the UK flag, decarbonise the maritime sector and encourage greater investment in the UK.

“I am also very grateful to Damien Oliver for his work as interim Chief Executive Officer, and to Brian Johnson for the wealth of expertise he bought to the agency during his tenure.

Maritime and Coastguard Agency Non-Executive Chairman Christopher Rodrigues said:
“I am confident that Virginia has all the skills and qualities we need to build on the excellent work that Brian and the executive team have done over the 4 years of his tenure.”

Interim MCA Chief Executive Officer Damien Oliver said:
“It’s been the privilege of my life to lead this incredible organisation for the past several months.

“I am looking forward to welcoming Virginia and working together to provide a complete handover. It’s clear to me that this organisation will be in very safe hands under her leadership.”

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