In Magazine Article

By Merrill Witty

Photograph by Kathy Bergren Smith

Read this article in the January/February 2018 digital edition.

Glen Paine is the Executive Director of the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS) near BWI Airport and the Pacific Maritime Institute (PMI), based in Seattle. MITAGS-PMI is considered a leader in maritime training and simulation, providing comprehensive training for today’s seafarers.

MITAGS shares its 40-acre campus in Linthicum Heights with the Maritime Conference Center, also under Paine’s direction.

The International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots, the nonprofit trust dedicated to enhancing mariner professionalism, founded MITAGS and PMI in 1967. The organization’s training programs in leadership, education and safety have been preparing professional deck officers, masters, pilots and military personnel ever since. Both campuses offer extended courses, as well as individual classes for personnel renewing or upgrading their licenses.

Paine’s maritime background is extensive. His interest began, however, as a teenage hobby, racing sailboats on the New Jersey shore. Not thinking about a lifetime career, he applied to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) on the advice of a friend who told him the academy had a great sailing team.

Glen Paine

Glen Paine

His acceptance to Kings Point, as USMMA is often called, charted his course in the maritime industry. Graduating as a third officer, he worked through the hiring halls of the International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots, upgrading his license along the way.

“I had the opportunity to sail on a wide variety of ships, including offshore tugs, container ships and tankers,” Paine said. “During my seagoing career, I had the opportunity to sail to Alaska, the Far East, the Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean, Europe and Central and South America.

“After sailing deep-sea for a number of years,” he continued, “I came ashore and began a new career in maritime training and education.” He was an instructor of vocational courses at MITAGS while attending night school to obtain a master’s degree from the University of Maryland University College. That degree allowed him to move into management.

Paine visits the PMI campus in Seattle several times a year and travels throughout the U.S., Europe and the Mediterranean to oversee operations for MITAGS-PMI.

In addition he has worked with the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA) on a number of ship simulation projects, including at the Seagirt Marine Terminal, and hosted a number of MDOT MPA events at the conference center. He also works with the Baltimore office of Moffatt & Nichol, a large coastal engineering firm, on simulation projects around the world.

In addition to its full-time training schedule, MITAGS hosts summer camps to acquaint young students with the vast career opportunities available in the maritime industry. Students even get to work on the simulators to “pilot” their own ships.

MITAGS is continually developing innovative ways to bring people into the industry and strategies to ensure mariner competency.

“The biggest industry challenge,” Paine said, “is maintaining and crafting national policies to ensure growth and prosperity for the U.S. Flag Merchant Marine and the industry. Although the U.S. is a seafaring nation, most Americans are unaware of the role our industry plays in the economy and in supporting the U.S. military.”

Keeping Congress and the administration properly informed about the industry’s issues takes continuous effort by everyone involved, he added.

Paine now lives on the MITAGS campus with his wife. In their spare time, the two enjoy gardening, visiting museums and traveling to even more spots around the world.