• ABS' Chris Wiernicki takes over IACS Chair from Philippe Donche-Gay
• Robert Ashdown appointed Secretary General as Derek Hodgson retires
Christopher J. Wiernicki, the Chairman, President and CEO of ABS, assumed the role of IACS Chairman at the end of the 71st session of the IACS Council in Paris on July 2, 2015. Previously, the role was held by Philippe Donche-Gay, Executive Vice President and head of Marine & Offshore, Bureau Veritas. Commenting on his predecessor's contribution, Wiernicki stated: "IACS, and the industry at large, will continue to reap the rewards of Philippe's leadership."
In response, Donche-Gay thanked fellow Members for their support during his time in office. "Over the past year the support of my peers has allowed IACS to deliver, on time, a number of challenging and far-reaching commitments including the final implementation of revised Common Structural Rules, important new Unified Requirements pertaining to Container Ship safety, the revision of the existing Unified Requirement on Complex On Board Systems and progress with the development of LNG Bunkering Guidelines," he said.
The Council meeting also marked the retirement of Derek Hodgson as IACS Permanent Secretary. Donche-Gay praised Hodgson's long-standing commitment to the organisation. "Derek's professionalism over the past six years has been fundamental in ensuring the Secretariat has evolved to meet the ongoing needs of its Members during a formative period in IACS history," he said.
Robert Ashdown was appointed to the newly created position of Secretary General. Looking forward, Ashdown said: "IACS has a formidable reputation as an expert technical advisory body to the maritime industry and its regulators and plays an integral role in maintaining and advancing the safety and environmental performance of international shipping. I look forward to working with all stakeholders so that IACS continues to deliver its objectives in a positive and collaborative manner."
IACS intends to release a document outlining its updated strategic focus later this month. A press conference with the new Chairman is planned for late September in London.