The former administrator of the Panama Canal, under whose watch the expansion project began, is up for another prestigious award from his worldwide peers.
Alberto Alemán Zubieta, started the extensive multi billion dollar program to expand the inter-ocean passage to accommodate larger ships and increase global trade.
He will receive the 2012 Connie Award. The Connie will be presented by the Containerization & Intermodal Institute on December 10, at an industry-wide luncheon commencing at The Newark Club in Newark, NJ.
The $5.25 billion project will double the canal capacity and includes the construction of a new set of locks that will allow the transit of longer and wider ships-a significant benefit to the containerization and intermodal industry. The Canal's entrances at the Atlantic and Pacific channels are being widened and deepened as well.
"CII is excited to present the Connie to Mr. Alemán Zubieta under whose leadership, the Panama Canal Authority's vision has been to transform this facilitator of global commerce into a world leader in services to the maritime industry," said Allen Clifford, CII President. "To be in charge of the cornerstone of the global transportation system, and a model of excellence, efficiency and integrity is a monumental task; to be able to present him with a Connie is a monumental honor for us."
Alemán Zubieta retired from the Panama Canal Authority in September after 16 years and has been succeeded by Jorge Luis Quijano, previously Executive Vice President of the Engineering and Programs Management Department in charge of the l expansion program.
A graduate of Texas A&M, Alemán Zubieta, 62, began his career in the construction field. His participated in the Blue Ribbon Committee to determine the infrastructural needs of the Panama Canal into the next century, which earned him the recognition and insight to be appointed as Administrator. From 1996 to 1999, he served as Administrator of the former Panama Canal Commission, the US Government federal agency that was responsible for the canal’s administration and operation of the until the end of 1999.
During the following two years, he served simultaneously as Administrator for both the Panama Canal Commission and the Panama Canal Authority, ensuring that the decisions taken under the Panama Canal Commission would have continuity under the Panama Canal Authority. In 2005, the Board of Directors re-elected him to lead the Panama Canal Authority for another seven years.
The Panama Canal has had a far-reaching effect on world economic and commercial developments since its opening to international commerce. The Canal has changed trade patterns and made the world more accessible. The expansion will open the canal to new routes and untapped market segments, allowing larger vessels to transit and increasing capacity.
The Connie Award is one of many honors bestowed on Alemán Zubieta for his vision, achievements and contributions to the world international transportation industry. In 2009 he Zubieta received the most prestigious award from the maritime industry, the "International Maritime Prize" from the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
In addition to the Connie Award, CII will carry out its industry education mission by presenting scholarships to maritime academy cadets.
CII is dedicated to promoting the international intermodal industry in education outreach.