Eric Roger Dawicki (born July 5, 1965) is the President and CEO of the Northeast Maritime Institute in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. He is also President and CEO of the Commonwealth of Dominica Maritime Registry, Inc. (DMRI), and Chairman of the Board of the Northeast Group, LLC, Northeast Maritime Communications, LLC, and Transportation Security Logistics, LLC. His companies combined operate 22+ offices worldwide. He is also a board member for the World Maritime University, established by the International Maritime Organization in 1993.
Family and education
Eric Dawicki was born to parents Joseph Frank Dawicki Jr. and Barbara Ann Gifford in New Bedford, Massachusetts on July 5, 1965. He is the youngest of five boys.
He graduated from Fairhaven High School in 1984 and attended Arkansas State University where he played football and studied communications. In 2010 he received his Masters in Public Administration (MPA) in the Key Executive Leadership Program at American University in Washington, D.C.
He married Angela Michelle Rust on June 23, 1994 at the Brant Point Light lighthouse in Nantucket. Together they have three children, Morgan Gifford Dawicki, Hannah Elizabeth Dawicki, and Lauren Victoria Dawicki. Hannah (2016) and Morgan (2014) are graduates of Tabor Academy.
Eric was born into a seafaring family. His grandfather Joseph Frank Dawicki was an immigrant from Poland and a great adventurer. During his childhood, Eric heard many stories of his grandfather sailing around Cape Horn aboard clipper ships and of growing tobacco in the famous Connecticut River Valley. Eric's father, Joseph Frank Dawicki Jr. was a chief engineer for the Steamship Authority and sailed for over 50 years in the Merchant Marine. Joseph Jr. was the last chief engineer of the Nobska, the last steamship to carry passengers between Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.
Eric's career in the maritime industry began when at 16 years of age he joined the Coast Guard Reserve. He served while in high school and college. After college he went to sea on an LNG Tanker as an Ordinary Seaman then became an Able Bodied Seam, Boatswain and Third Mate. He then became involved in LNG Tanker Operations for a short time prior to taking over the position of President of Northeast Maritime Institute.
One of the preeminent minds in maritime transportation policy, Dawicki still heads up the Northeast Maritime Institute, one of the largest privately held maritime education and training institutions in the United States. The Northeast Maritime Institute is the first private maritime college in America. Mr. Dawicki is also responsible for creating and developing the 33rd largest ship registry in the world, the Dominica Maritime Registry, Inc., and is a member of the <nowiki/>s World Maritime University's Board of Governors and is an Executive Governor there as well.
Mr. Dawicki has served on the Executive Committee for the International Maritime Lecturers Association, was Co-Chairman of the Board of the American Sail Training Association, and is a Lifetime Trustee and former Director of the United States Coast Guard Foundation.
Mr. Dawicki is a lead delegate at the UN's International Maritime Organization in London, England. He has participated in the negotiations of several international maritime treaties since 1996 and is one of the most recognizable authorities on treaty compliance. His efforts to develop maritime safety and security programs have been recognized both domestically and internationally, including direct recognition by the UN Security Council. Projects have taken him to 82 Nations with a concentration on North Africa and the Middle East as well as Eastern Europe. He was also a member of the United States' National Maritime Security Advisory Committee during the Bush and Obama Administrations.
The Fairhaven Project
In addition to his maritime career, Eric has also pursued many international peace projects.
In 2008, along with the United States Department of State's Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, Dawicki launched The Fairhaven Project, a conflict resolution program aimed at bringing Israeli and Palestinian youth together to overcome their differences. The project continued annually until 2011.
The inaugural year brought three Israeli and three Palestinian students onboard the Northeast Maritime Institute's flagship S/V Fritha for three weeks. During the program a film crew was present in order to produce the documentary, One: Sailing Towards a Horizon of Hope. The documentary helped develop support and dialogue for the one-state solution between Israel and Palestine that was used during the Obama administration's attempts to resolve the conflict. "The mission of The Fairhaven Project is to foster leadership development among young adults living in conflicted areas of the world through maritime education and training programs that integrate traditional sea-going experiences with ocean science, technology and media to augment conflict resolution and team-building exercises." "Since early American sailing history, Fairhaven has been a safe harbor for sailors. It's no less so for this group," said Bob Senseney of the federal Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science. The documentary was greatly received in the Middle East, trending as a top story for the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.
'Flag of Responsibility'
As the owner and proprietor of the Dominica Maritime Registry, Inc., and as delegate of the International Maritime Organization, Dawicki has sought to transform the 'flag of convenience' to a 'flag of responsibility.'