The Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS) and Maritime Conference Center (MCC) has appointed Eric Friend as its new executive director.

Originally wanting to fly after studying at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), Friend’s ambitions quickly changed after spending his cadet time at sea on International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots (MM&P) vessels.

After graduating from USMMA in 1998, Friend became a sailing member of the MM&P, experiencing MITAGS’ training as a student, the same year when Friend’s recently retired predecessor Glen Paine took the helm.

In 2003, Friend became a MITAGS instructor. For several years, he taught a variety of subjects, including Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch and several maritime safety courses. In 2007, he began a succession plan and in 2008 became the director of MITAGS Academic.