IACS Press Release 3rd July 2015


Changes at the Helm


  • ABS' Chris Wiernicki takes over IACS Chair from Philippe Donche-Gay
  • Robert Ashdown appointed Secretary General as Derek Hodgson retires


Christopher J. Wiernicki, the Chairman, President and CEO of ABS, assumed the role of IACS Chairman at the end of the 71st session of the IACS Council in Paris on July 2, 2015. Previously, the role was held by Philippe Donche-Gay, Executive Vice President and head of Marine & Offshore, Bureau Veritas. Commenting on his predecessor's contribution, Wiernicki stated: "IACS, and the industry at large, will continue to reap the rewards of Philippe's leadership."

In response, Donche-Gay thanked fellow Members for their support during his time in office. "Over the past year the support of my peers has allowed IACS to deliver, on time, a number of challenging and far-reaching commitments including the final implementation of revised Common Structural Rules, important new Unified Requirements pertaining to Container Ship safety, the revision of the existing Unified Requirement on Complex On Board Systems and progress with the development of LNG Bunkering Guidelines," he said.

The Council meeting also marked the retirement of Derek Hodgson as IACS Permanent Secretary. Donche-Gay praised Hodgson's long-standing commitment to the organisation. "Derek's professionalism over the past six years has been fundamental in ensuring the Secretariat has evolved to meet the ongoing needs of its Members during a formative period in IACS history," he said.

Robert Ashdown was appointed to the newly created position of Secretary General. Looking forward, Ashdown said: "IACS has a formidable reputation as an expert technical advisory body to the maritime industry and its regulators and plays an integral role in maintaining and advancing the safety and environmental performance of international shipping. I look forward to working with all stakeholders so that IACS continues to deliver its objectives in a positive and collaborative manner."


IACS intends to release a document outlining its updated strategic focus later this month. A press conference with the new Chairman is planned for late September in London.

July 3rd 2015


Contact: Robert Ashdown
IACS Secretary General
+44 (0) 20 7976 0660

Notes to Editors:


  • Dedicated to safe ships and clean seas, the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) makes a unique contribution to maritime safety and regulation through technical support, compliance verification and research and development.
  • More than 90% of the world's cargo carrying tonnage is covered by the classification design, construction and through-life compliance Rules and standards set by the twelve Member Societies of IACS.
  • The IACS Council, the governing body of the Association, consists of one representative from each Member Society. The Council elects a Chair, by rotation, from among its Members. The Chair acts as the Principal Officer of the Association for a period of 12 months.
  • Chris Wiernicki's resume can be found at http://ww2.eagle.org/en/about-us/executive-leadership/christopher-wiernicki.html
  • Robert Ashdown served as Secretary General of Cruise Lines International Association (Europe) before joining IACS. Previously, he also held senior positions with the UK Chamber of Shipping, British Rig Owners Association and European Cruise Council.
  • More information about IACS can be found by visiting our website: www.iacs.org.uk


Christopher Wiernicki - Chair Robert Ashdown - Sec Gen

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