Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc. has hired Adm. Robert J. Papp, Jr., U.S. Coast Guard (Retired), to head the company’s new Washington, D.C., operations.

Robert J. Papp, Jr.

Robert J. Papp, Jr.

The appointment marks the first time Eastern has had full-time representation in Washington. Adm. Papp will “lead the strategic engagement in intergovernmental and industry operations,” the Panama City, Fla.-based shipyard announced in early January.

“As we embark on a number of significant projects that are integral to the maritime security of our country and the continued growth of our company, we are proud to add Adm. Bob Papp to our Team,” said Brian D’Isernia, CEO of Eastern Shipbuilding. “His vast experience in both maritime security operations as well as navigating the challenges of intergovernmental operations will be invaluable and we welcome him to the ESG family.”

Papp served as an officer in the Coast Guard for nearly 40 years, completing his career as its 24th commandant from 2010 to 2014. He was a career cutterman, serving on six cutters and commanding four of them, including the Coast Guard’s square-rigged barque Eagle. As a flag officer, Papp served as commander, Coast Guard Atlantic Area; as chief of staff of the Coast Guard and commanding officer of Coast Guard Headquarters; as commander, Ninth Coast Guard District; and as director of reserve and training.

After retiring from the Coast Guard, he was called to duty at the U.S. Department of State as the U.S. Special Representative for the Arctic, where he led U.S. international engagement on Arctic issues.