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Friday, June 21, 2024

John Okon Named SUNY Maritime President

June 4, 2024

Rear Admiral John Okon (File photo: U.S. Navy)

Rear Admiral John Okon (File photo: U.S. Navy)

Rear Admiral John Okon has been named as the next president of SUNY Maritime College, a public maritime college in the Bronx, New York City.

Okon, a retired U.S. Navy officer with more than 33 years of naval service, will succeed Rear Admiral Dr. Michael A. Alfultis, who will retire on July 1 after 10 years at the helm. Okon will become SUNY Maritime's 12th campus president.

"As a SUNY Maritime alumnus, Rear Admiral Okon, ’91, has a great perspective on the student experience and how we can move forward to encourage and support more students to pursue careers in the maritime industry," said SUNY Board of Trustees and Chancellor John B. King Jr., who announced the appointment during a State University of New York Board of Trustees meeting. "At the same time, his extensive background in the U.S. Navy in support of intelligence, technology, meteorology, and oceanography, will help guide SUNY Maritime as it builds on its academic programs to ensure SUNY students are well positioned to succeed after graduation."

"This is an outstanding opportunity and I am thankful to the SUNY Board of Trustees, Chancellor King, College Council Chair Thomas J. Higgins, and the search committee for their confidence in my appointment," Okon said. "As an alum of this prestigious maritime campus, I am excitement about the new resources dedicated from the federal and state government, and for Chancellor King’s commitment to our students’ success. I can’t wait to lead SUNY Maritime College as it enters its next chapter."

A native of Syracuse, N.Y., Okon graduated from the SUNY Maritime College in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology and Oceanography. He holds master’s degrees in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography from the Naval Post Graduate School, and in National Security Studies from the Naval War College.

As a naval officer, Okon served in a number of positions at sea and ashore, including meteorologist, oceanographer, navigator and hydrographer. In 2023, he became vice commander of the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command’s Tenth Fleet.

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