Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of the World Maritime University (WMU) has been selected for the second year in a row for the Lloyd’s List Top 100 annual ranking of the most influential people in shipping that states, “The inspirational university president is looking to leave a lasting mark on the next generation of maritime professionals”.
President Doumbia-Henry is the first female President of WMU, as well as the first from a developing country. WMU is a global centre of excellence recognized by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the United Nations General Assembly.
It plays a significant role in maritime and ocean education, research, capacity-building and economic development while promoting the roles of women in the maritime and ocean sectors.
Since joining WMU in 2015, Dr Doumbia-Henry has achieved significant financial and institutional growth for the University, expanded its programmes, increased student intake, enhanced WMU’s visibility, and established the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute within the University.
Dr Doumbia-Henry remains a strong advocate for seafarers’ rights and women’s empowerment, and has written many articles on the subjects. 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 on-going COVID-19 pandemic, thereby enabling the global supply chain to remain open.
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 pa