Richard Balzano was appointed by President Donald Trump and sworn in on Monday, October 16, 2017, by Secretary Elaine L. Chao as Deputy Maritime Administrator.
A 1989 graduate of the Maine Maritime Academy, Balzano earned his Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering with a minor in Nuclear Engineering. He was commissioned in the U.S. Navy Reserve and also holds a master’s degree in Environmental Sciences from Johns Hopkins University. Prior to his appointment, Balzano served on active duty in the U.S. Navy in various assignments, retiring at the rank of Captain.
Balzano’s active duty assignments include: Sustainment Strategy Lead, Joint Program Office, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter; US Central Command J-3 Operations Liaison to NATO, Operation Resolute Support, Kabul, Afghanistan; Chief of Staff, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (AT&L), Office of Small Business Programs; Commander US Naval Forces Central Command, Liaison to the Sultanate of Oman; Platform Commander, Al Basra Iraq; Commander Naval Installations Command, Global War on Terrorism Action Officer; and Military Assistant, Office of the Secretary of Defense.
In the Naval Reserve, Balzano served as the Commanding Officer, Strategic Sealift Unit Mid-Atlantic; Executive Officer, Supervisor of Salvage and Diving Heavy Lift Unit; Executive Officer, Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit Two; Special Boat Unit 20; and Staff Officer DCNO’s staff.
In 2005, Balzano was qualified by the Office of the Director of Ocean Engineering and Supervisor of Salvage and Diving as the US Navy’s first ever Heavy Lift Project Officer in response to the requirement to heavy lift damaged assets much like the operation performed on the USS Cole. Since 2005, he has conducted a number of heavy lift operations worldwide.
In his civilian employment capacity, Balzano has held various positions that include: Senior Staff, US House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security; Deputy Test Director, SRS Technologies; Program Manager, Science Application International Corporation; Nuclear Test Engineer and Nuclear Systems Operator, Northeast Utilities; Engineering Officer, Texaco Oil Corporation.