The National Maritime Awards Dinner Honors Three Renowned Individuals and Organizations at the Mayflower Hotel on April 4, 2017

The National Maritime Historical Society (NMHS), in association with the Naval Historical Foundation (NHF), will host the National Maritime Awards Dinner on Tuesday, April 4, 2017, at the elegant, historic and iconic Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.  Three prestigious individuals and organizations will be honored with Distinguished Service Awards for their significant contribution to America’s maritime heritage. 

This gala event will bring together those who love and serve the sea—including leaders of the military sea services, merchant marine and maritime industry; maritime authors and artists; oceanographers, sea explorers and scientists; competitive yachtsmen; philanthropists and government officials who have supported America’s maritime heritage; industrial and pleasure boat designers and builders; cruise lines operators; maritime educators; and maritime educational institutions and museums.

Funds raised support the education initiatives of both organizations.

The National Maritime Historical Society will present its Distinguished Service Award to Conservation  International, an American non-profit environmental organization, and its chairman and founder Peter A. Seligmann, on the occasion of CI’s 30th anniversary. Conservation International has had a tremendous impact on the health of the world’s oceans and shorelines. The organization spearheads the Ocean Health Index and the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, comprising 60+ international organizations. The NMHS Distinguished Service Award will be presented by three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman.

The NMHS Distinguished Service Award will also be given to the National Geographic Society for its extraordinary achievements in chronicling mankind’s relationship with the water and educating tens of millions of readers and viewers about global maritime heritage. It has introduced generation after generation to maritime cultures around the globe and how they have contributed to our civilization. National Geographic magazine is currently published in 40 local-language editions around the world. Combined English and other language circulation is around 6.8 million monthly. Gary Knell, president and CEO of the National Geographic Society, will accept the award, which will be presented by internationally-recognized underwater explorer Dr. Robert Ballard, discoverer of the wreck of the Titanic.

The Naval Historical Foundation will present its Distinguished Service Award to Dr. J. Phillip London, executive chairman and chairman of the board of CACI International Inc. A graduate of the US Naval Academy, Dr. London served twelve years of active duty in the US Navy as a naval aviator, which included involvement in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. He retired as a Navy Reserve Captain in 1983. Dr. London serves on the board of directors of NHF, the US Navy Memorial Foundation, the Friends of the National World War II Memorial and CAUSE (Comfort for America’s Uniformed Services). He is a strong advocate and long-time supporter of naval heritage. The NHF Distinguished Service Award will be presented to Dr. London by Admiral William J. Fallon, USN (Ret.), NHF’s chairman.

Gary Jobson
, world-class competitive sailor, sailing television commentator and author, president of the National Sailing Hall of Fame, vice president of the International Sailing Federation, past president of US Sailing, and NMHS overseer, will be the Master of Ceremonies. Entertainment will be provided by the United States Coast Guard Academy Cadet Singers, directed by Dr. Robert Newton. A highlight of the presentation will be videos of the honorees, produced by award-winning producer/director Richardo Lopes of XXL Media.

The National Maritime Historical Society is a not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is to raise awareness of maritime heritage and the role seafaring has played in shaping civilization. The Society publishes Sea History, a quarterly maritime journal, and seeks to educate about extraordinary maritime accomplishments and their continuing relevance for prosperity and cultural vitality.  Initiatives encompass publications, educational programs, sail training and preservation of historic ships.

The Naval Historical Foundation is dedicated to preserving and honoring the legacy of those who came before us and serving to educate and inspire the generations who will follow. The Foundation supports the Navy’s history programs and its flagship museum in Washington, D.C.  In addition, NHF has a robust education outreach program, co-sponsoring publications and symposium on a wide variety of naval history topics.

The National Maritime Awards Dinner Committee consists of leadership from Tall Ships America, Historic Naval Ships Association, Smithsonian, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Independence Seaport Museum, The Mariners’ Museum, American Merchant Marine Museum, Sultana Education Projects, Historic Ships of Baltimore, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, the Mariners’ Museum and the North Carolina Maritime Museum, among its many members.

Tickets to the dinner are $275 and sponsorship opportunities are available.   For more information or to make a reservation for this gala, visit the website at, call 914 737-7878 or email


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