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James B. Ellis II



Retired. Active in the affairs of the Coast Guard Academy Alumni Association and serve on the Board of Directors.


Partner in the law firm of Blank Rome LLP, a 500-attorney, multi-national, multi-city law firm that primarily represents U.S. and foreign businesses on a wide range of legal issues. During this period, served for six years on the firm’s executive committee and distribution committee and served for the past four years as the administrative partner for the Washington, D.C. office. Primary area of practice is representing maritime companies in corporate transactions and financings.


Founding Partner of the Washington, D.C. law firm of Dyer Ellis and Joseph. Served as managing partner for 15 years during which time the firm grew from five attorneys to 45 attorneys. The firm specialized in representing U.S. and foreign companies, primarily in the maritime industry. In 2003, the firm merged with Blank Rome LLP.


Partner in the Washington, D.C. law firm of Kurrus and Dyer PC, a boutique law firm representing companies in the U.S. and international maritime industry.


Special Assistant to the Secretary of Transportation for maritime policy and representative of the Department of Transportation on the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Law of the Sea Conference. In that capacity, was the legal member of the team that oversaw the transfer and integration of the U.S. Maritime Administration from the Department of Commerce to the Department of Transportation. Recipient of the Secretary of Transportation’s Silver Medal.


Selected by the Coast Guard to attend the Sloan Fellows Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Graduated with a Master of Science in Management Degree. Elected permanent class President. Served on the Board of Governors of the Sloan Fellows Program.


Served as the District Legal Officer for the 17th Coast Guard District in Alaska. Drafted the regulations governing the vessel traffic system for tankers transporting oil from the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, participated in the implementation and enforcement of the 200-mile fisheries limit in Alaskan waters, and oversaw the transfer of several million of acres of property along the coast of Alaska from the Coast Guard to Alaskan natives under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Deep selected for the rank of Commander. Awarded the Coast Guard Commendation Medal.


Served as staff attorney in the Maritime and International Law Division of the Coast Guard Chief Counsel. Legal representative on the U.S. IMO delegation to the 1974 Safety of Life at Sea Conference. Awarded Coast Guard Achievement Medal. Deep selected for rank of Lieutenant Commander.


Attended the National Law Center, George Washington University. Graduated first in class with a Juris Doctor Degree with highest honors.


Served two tours in Coastal Division Twelve, Republic of Vietnam, including ten months as Commanding Officer of the USCGC Point Orient, eight months as Division Executive Officer and four months assigned to the U.S. Navy as head of Coast Guard advisory team assisting with transfer and integration of Coast Guard assets to the Vietnamese Navy. Awarded Bronze Star with Combat “V”.


Served as Commanding Officer of the USCGC Cape Morgan in Charleston, South Carolina.


Served as duty officer aboard of the USCGC McCulloch with collateral duties as Communications Officer and Navigation Officer.


Attended U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Graduated first in class with a Bachelor of Science Degree with Highest Honors.

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