John “Dugan” Shipway now Austal USA board chairman


Retired U.S. Navy Rear Adm. John “Dugan” Shipway, whose leadership career includes 35 years in the U.S. Navy and senior management roles in naval shipbuilding and support, has been elected to chair the board of Austal USA.

Austal’s Chairman, John Rothwell, said that Shipway’s technical and program management expertise would help Austal deliver its Navy contracts efficiently and effectively.

“Dugan has exceptional skills and experience in naval acquisition and shipbuilding that will be instrumental in guiding the U.S. business which is now a major U.S. Navy prime contractor,” Rothwell said in a company press release. “That experience includes managing similar U.S. navy programs in the highest levels for more than two decades.”

Shipway retired in March 2009 as president of General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, a position that he held for six years, where he oversaw management reforms that transformed the shipyard into a lean warship manufacturer. That same year, the Navy League of the United States honored him with the 2009 Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz award for exemplary leadership in the maritime defense industry.

“I am honored to have Dugan chair the board,” said Austal USA interim president and chief financial officer Brian Leathers. “Our rapidly growing naval shipyard can benefit from his many years of naval leadership and shipbuilding expertise.”

Shipway served 35 years in the Navy, including 15 years in military acquisition, and retired as a Rear Admiral. He last served as director of strategic systems programs. During his military career, he was a submarine officer responsible for several submarine and weapons programs. Upon his retirement from the Navy he joined General Dynamics Electric Boat and held the position of vice president for full submarine support until he was promoted to president of Bath Iron Works.

Shipway is a member of the Strategic Advisory Group of the United States Strategic Command, the Maine Maritime Academy board of trustees, and a director of Australia’s major submarine and surface combatant shipyard, ASC Pty Ltd. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a master’s degree in engineering. He and his wife, the former Lynn Doe of Harvard, Mass., live in Bath, Maine.

Rothwell thanked Lawrence Cavaiola for his efforts as Austal USA’s inaugural Chair. “Larry has provided admirable leadership over the last four and a half years, a period in which the business has grown tremendously,” Rothwell said. “He remains a valued member of the Austal USA Board.”



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