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NSAWW Welcomes Rear Admiral Steven Branham (Ret.) as Principal

March 2014: Rear Admiral Branham joins NSAWW after a nearly forty year career with the United States Coast Guard in various executive positions. Prior to joining NSAWW, Rear Admiral Branham was most recently the Vice President of Government Relations at Witt O’Brien’s where he was responsible for relationship building and maintenance across a broad spectrum of federal and state agencies to raise awareness of the company’s products and services. Previous to this, Rear Admiral Branham was Executive Vice President for Government Services at O’Brien’s Response Management where he led his division to a much higher state of readiness, training, and capability to ensure timely and accurate assistance to regions, states and communities in dealing with the impacts of Hurricanes Isaac & Sandy, Tropical Storms Irene & Debby, and major ice storms in Massachusetts.

Prior to his retirement in 2010, Rear Admiral Branham served as Commander Seventh Coast Guard District headquartered in Miami, Florida. The District responsibilities included all Coast Guard operations in the Southeast region of the United States, the Caribbean Sea, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In his immediate prior assignment, he served as the Coast Guard Assistant Commandant for Resources and Chief Financial Officer. Rear Admiral Branham was promoted to flag rank in 2005 and received his second star in 2007.

Rear Admiral Branham served in a variety of afloat and administrative assignments on the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts as well as the Great Lakes. During his later assignments, he was Chief of Operations and Chief of Staff, Coast Guard Atlantic Area, and Executive Director of the U.S. Interdiction Coordinator (USIC) Staff, directly assisting the Commandant in his role as USIC.

Rear Admiral Branham also served six tours afloat, including 4 tours in command of Cutter CAPE HEDGE (WPB 95311) in Morro Bay, California; Cutter NEAH BAY (WTGB 105) in Cleveland, Ohio; Cutter HARRIET LANE (WMEC 903 in Portsmouth, Virginia; and Cutter GALLATIN (WHEC 721) in Charleston, South Carolina.

Throughout his 12 years of sea duty, he was involved in a number of high-profile drug, migrant, search and rescue, and fisheries enforcement cases, including the 1980 Mariel Boatlift of Cuban migrants, the 1991 Haitian mass migration, and on-scene commander leading rescue and recovery operations after the TWA 800 airliner crash in 1996. Rear Admiral Branham also commanded the task force that successfully prototyped the use of armed helicopters to stop suspected drug-laden go-fast vessels, an initiative that continues to produce record annual drug interdiction rates.

Rear Admiral Branham is a 1977 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Engineering. He was awarded a master’s degree in Business Administration by Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and a master’s degree in National Security Strategy by the National War College, Washington, DC.

Rear Admiral Branham's awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit (4), the Meritorious Service Medal (2), the Coast Guard Commendation Medal (3), the Coast Guard Achievement Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal (3), the Coast Guard Sea Service Ribbon (4), and the Coast Guard Cutterman’s Insignia.

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