Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of the World Maritime University (WMU) has been selected for the 2021 Lloyd’s List Top 100 annual ranking of the most influential people in shipping.
President Doumbia-Henry is the first female President of WMU, as well as the first from a developing country. Prior to joining WMU in mid-2015, she served in a number of capacities at the International Labour Organization (ILO), culminating in her role as Director of the International Labour Standards Department. During her 30-year long service at the ILO, she was responsible for spearheading the consolidation of 68 out of 72 ILO Conventions and related Recommendations into a single instrument – Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC), which has already been amended three times. The MLC is today a flagship instrument protecting seafarers’ rights, including during the COVID-19 pandemic with over 200,000 seafarers still remaining captive at sea.
Dr Doumbia-Henry has taken WMU forward since she joined it in 2015. She has expanded the university’s programmes, increased its student intake, established the Global Ocean Institute within the university and enhanced its visibility. She remains a strong advocate for seafarers’ rights and has written many articles on the subject. She has been championing the efforts to recognize seafarers as “key workers”. They are responsible for moving 90% of world trade and have continued to undertake their functions during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, thereby enabling the global supply chain to remain open.