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Department of the Army Intern Completes 7 Month Detail

Published June 8, 2012
Laura Herrmann

Laura Herrmann

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA - June 8, 2012. Ms. Laura Herrmann, a Department of Army intern, returned to IWR from a seven-month detail in the Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS) Executive Secretariat office on Monday, May 7, 2012. The CMTS is a Federal Cabinet-level, inter-departmental committee chaired by the Secretary of Transportation.  The Committee works to create and facilitate partnerships of Federal departments and agencies with responsibility for the Marine Transportation System (MTS). The job of the CMTS is to ensure the development and implementation of national MTS policies that are consistent with national needs and to report to the President its views and recommendations for improving the MTS.

The Executive Secretariat is the staff office that supports the activities of the CMTS, Coordinating Board, and task teams. Ms. Helen Brohl with the Office of the Secretary of Transportation, U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), is the Director of the Executive Secretariat office. Other permanent staff includes Mr. Gary Magnuson with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Ms. Patricia Mutschler, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  During her time with the CMTS, Ms. Herrmann was charged with providing staff support to the numerous Integrated Action Teams (IATs). She organized and led multiple Speaker Series sessions and Environmental Stewardship Discussion Group brown bags.

Ms. Herrmann was awarded the opportunity to lead a task team for the CMTS Compendium of Federal Marine Transportation Programs. This product depicts the 34 Federal Departments and Agencies, and their engagement with specifically identified functions and programs that are incorporated in the Marine Transportation System.  Comprised of an inclusive matrix and accompanying narrative document, this compendium illustrates ways the engaged agencies can improve on program coordination. It identifies any potential gaps between the different activities. The Compendium is to serve as an interactive and educational tool for CMTS member agencies, as well as public audiences.  Ms. Herrmann facilitated meetings with the team, which included Mr. Erik Stromberg of Stromberg & Associates, as well as Ms. Brohl, Mr. Magnuson, and Ms. Stacey Evans, who is with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC).  She also led outreach efforts to agency contacts to populate the matrix, designed the matrix format for the compendium, and assisted in drafting the narrative document, which outlines the need for MTS-related program coordination.

In January 2012 Ms. Herrmann, who works on the PIANC Young Professional committee, presented the Compendium to the PIANC Commissioners at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Conference in Washington, DC.  Ms. Helen Brohl is also a PIANC USA Commissioner and was present for the briefing. The following March, Ms. Herrmann briefed the CMTS Coordinating Board at its quarterly meeting. The CMTS Coordinating Board is made up of the heads of MTS-related agencies: the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Director for Civil Works of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Administrator of the Maritime Administration. More than twenty different agencies and departmental offices with MTS interests are represented on the Coordinating Board. The Compendium was conditionally approved at the March meeting with an additional 30-day peer review. The final review was completed in April 2012.

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