Notable People

(displayed alphabetically by last name)


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Rear Admiral John "Jack" F. McGowan


Rear Admiral McGowan assumed duties as the Commander, Ninth Coast Guard District in May 1997.  As the region's operational commander, he leads over 7,000 men and women of the Coast Guard assigned to eight states surrounding the Great Lakes.  Under his direction, Coast Guard men and women provide the world's premiere search and rescue, marine safety and environmental protection, maritime law enforcement, aids to navigation and ice-breaking services to his region's citizens. 

"Jack" McGowan graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with honors in 1969 and served aboard the Coast guard Cutter Tamaroa followed by subsequent tours in Thule, Greenland; San Francisco, CA; Cambridge, MA; New Orleans, LA; Washington, DC; New York and Portland, ME before coming to Cleveland.

As a delegate for the U.S., RADM McGowan negotiated several international codes and treaties for the design of ships, their crews and cargoes including the first International Gas Carrier and International Safety Management codes as well as a major modernization of the International Standards of Training and Watchkeeping Convention.  He was also chosen by the Commandant to negotiate a model agreement that was subsequently used by the U.N. to prevent the smuggling of illegal migrants on the world's shipping.

Early in his career, "Jack" served as Operations Officer on a cutter, as Commander of a station above the Arctic Circle, as a Ship Inspector in California and New York, as both a Naval Architect and a Marine Engineer, as Deputy Mayor of Governors Island, New York and as Captain of the Port for the coastlines of Maine and New Hampshire.  As a Captain, he was the Director of shipping personnel, the Director of Great Lakes Pilotage, then Deputy and Acting Chief of the Office of Marine Safety, Security and Environmental Protection.  Before being selected for Rear Admiral, he served as the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Coast Guard for three years in Washington, D.C.

RADM McGowan hold two degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology including the Professional Degree of Ocean Engineer and a Masters Degree in Shipbuilding Management.  He has received several awards during his career including the Legion of Merit, the Secretary of Transportation's Gold Medal, the Coast Guard Meritorious Service Medal (three times) and the Coast Guard Commendation Medal (three times).  RADM McGowan also formed the Great Lakes Regional Waterways Management Forum in 1999.

RADM McGowan is a Registered Professional Engineer and an active member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, the Coast Guard Academy Alumni and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Alumni Associations.

"Jack" and his wife Henrietta are originally from Connecticut.  They have five children: Christopher, Catherine, Heather, Benjamin and Emily.  Jack is retiring with thirty years of service with the Coast Guard.  He and Henrietta are remaining in the Cleveland area.

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