The American Maritime Partnership (AMP) announced Monday the election of Jennifer Carpenter as AMP president. She becomes the first woman to lead AMP. Carpenter is president and CEO of the American Waterways Operators and will continue in her role at AWO.

Also, Sara Fuentes was elected vice president and James “Jim” Weakley will serve the dual role of secretary and treasurer. Elected officers will hold their positions for a two-year term. 

“AMP plays a pivotal role in championing the strength and vitality of our domestic maritime industry, and I am proud to continue to drive our industry forward into the future,” Carpenter said in a statement. “This industry is led by 650,000 American men and women who are committed to ensuring a reliable supply chain, reducing our dependence on China, dredging new channels for trade, building next-generation vessels, constructing the next great American energy industry, and supporting our military in times of war.”

Carpenter has been with the AWO for over 33 years. In her role, Carpenter has worked collaboratively with hundreds of industry stakeholders, the Coast Guard, and members of Congress to support the nation’s tugboat, towboat and barge industry.

Sara Fuentes will expand from her previous role as secretary and treasurer of the AMP, to support the coalition’s government affairs outreach. She will continue to serve as vice president of the Transportation Institute. She also serves as a leader with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the Navy League of the United States and the Propeller Club — Port of Washington D.C. 

“I am honored to continue to work with the AMP team to promote a strong U.S.-built, owned and crewed fleet, which is integral to our national security and economic prosperity,” said Fuentes. “As we navigate 2024, I look forward to fostering collaboration, innovation, and a robust future for America as a whole through American maritime.”

Jim Weakley, president of the Lake Carriers Association and Coast Guard veteran, will join the AMP leadership team to bring his years of experience with the Great Lakes to a national stage while continuing to advocate for the region. Weakley has been president of the LCA since 2003 and will continue to serve LCA in that role.

“The Great Lakes alone move 90 million tons of cargo annually that are the foundation of American industry, infrastructure and energy, thanks to critical laws like the Jones Act,” said Weakley. “For AMP, I will continue to focus on the improvement of our industry and join with my fellow AMP leaders to support American security and prosperity.” 

AMP’s membership spans the U.S. and its territories and includes a broad representation of vessel owners and operators, shipbuilders and repair yards, dredging and marine construction contractors, trade associations, pro-defense groups, and more.