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HOME > Canadian Coast Guard Integrated Technical Services Expert to receive prestigious Leadership Award for 2009

Canadian Coast Guard Integrated Technical Services Expert to receive prestigious Leadership Award for 2009

Distinction Awards honour Dr. Sam Ryan on October 5, 2009

September 1, 2009 - Ottawa, ON– The Leadership Medal at the Distinction Awards are an affirmation that one person really can make a difference even within a large IT organization or project. As leaders, nominees will have inspired and mobilized the energies and talents of others to work toward the achievement of the shared goals and objectives of their organization, the people within it and the people it serves.

On October 5, the Distinction Awards will present a Leadership Award to Dr. Sam Ryan of the Canadian Coast Guard. Dr. Ryan led the international maritime community in developing and implementing a new global system for Long Range Identification and Tracking of Ships. Translating the vision of the 159 member groups into a viable and functioning system, resulted in a satellite based tool tracking ships and providing crucial data in real time for governments to evaluate security risks off their coasts. Chairing a team of members from over 40 countries, Dr. Ryan led the development of dozens of reports including technical specs, guidelines, and procedures. Dr. Ryan’s engineering and technical knowledge and skill, combined with his leadership, has led to national and international recognition.

According to Kevin d’Entremont, Executive Director of the Awards, "Canadian public servants quietly go about their business every day, without fanfare. In this case, Dr. Ryan was called on by the international community to chair discussions outside of his functional engineering role that included billing, development of an oversight function, and planning for the eventual inclusion of developing nations."

d’Entremont added "Dr. Ryan’s work is another example of how Canada has been able to establish itself over the years as a trusted ally and honest broker. Dr Ryan sets an example for how international collaboration initiatives can be successfully led."

The 2009 Distinction Awards Gala is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year for public servants. To be held on October 5, 2009, the Gala be attended by over 600 executives from government and industry, plus our finalists and departments heads from across Canada.

More information on about the Distinction Awards can be found here

Detailed Background on the Project:

Through the leadership of Dr. Sam Ryan of the Canadian Coast Guard, the international maritime community has been able to develop and implement a new global system for the Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) of ships.

LRIT was initially undertaken at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as a means of enhancing global maritime security via improved maritime domain awareness. The intent was to improve security by providing ships’ identity and current location information in sufficient time for a Government to evaluate the security risk posed by a ship off its coast and to respond, if necessary. In addition, an active and accurate LRIT system has clear safety benefits for maritime search and rescue and environmental response.

Dr. Sam Ryan’s Leadership Role in LRIT

Canada responded to IMO’s invitation for proactive participation by asking Dr. Sam Ryan of the Canadian Coast Guard’s Integrated Technical Services Directorate to participate in the LRIT system development. As a new global system, there proved to be numerous complex and contentious issues among the various interests in the international maritime community. Dr. Ryan’s ability to take the myriad of regulatory and political compromises reflected in the agreed upon LRIT requirements and offer valid technical options quickly gained recognition within IMO.

Dr. Ryan’s leadership is not restricted to the engineering aspects of LRIT. He was also asked by the IMO Secretariat to Chair discussions on the costing and billing aspects of the global LRIT system; the articulation of the LRIT oversight function by the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO); and the strategies for ensuring the inclusion of developing nations in the LRIT system. Again, these discussions, which were essential for the successful introduction of the LRIT system, required considerable leadership of the international maritime community to address their various concerns and interests, many of which seemed at times to be intractable.

Dr. Ryan has exhibited exceptional patience, diplomacy and leadership in the international effort to establish the new global LRIT system. Without his leadership and his engineering and technical knowledge and skill, the development of the global LRIT system would have been on a significantly slower pace and would have resulted in a less efficient and effective outcome.