Service & Boards

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Current NAS Study Committee member: Best Practices for the Efficient Supply of Chassis for Transporting Intermodal Containers. This congressionally-mandated committee (under the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022) will study approaches for supplying the chassis used by motor carriers, railroads, and marine terminal operators to transport intermodal containers. The Committee is to report in June of 2024.

NAS Consensus Study Chair, 2020-2021. Appointed as Chair of a study committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Consensus Study 343National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2021). Strengthening U.S. Coast Guard Oversight of Recognized Organizations: The Case of the Alternative Compliance Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Https:// The study conducted an assessment of the effectiveness of the U.S. Coast Guard’s oversight of recognized organizations (ROs) and its impact on compliance and on the safety of vessels inspected by such organizations.

Dr. Brooks served as the issue co-ordinator for the TR News published in July/August 2021.

She also provided pro bono services to the European Court of Auditors over 2020-21. For more details see below (policy work for Governments).

In 2020, Mary R. Brooks was named as a National Associate, U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (The NASEM Associates program was established to recognize exceptional pro bono service to National Research Council activities and programs that fulfills our mission to elevate the quality of science, engineering, and medicine and to provide advice to the nation.)

Chair, Marine Board. 1 November 2016–31 October 2018. In response to requests from sponsoring agencies or on its own initiative, the Marine Board serves the U.S. national interest by providing evaluations and advice concerning the ability of the nation’s marine and maritime industries to operate safely and efficiently and in an environmentally responsible manner. The Marine Board identifies research needs and provides a forum for exchange of information relating to new technologies, laws and regulations, economics, the environment, and other issues affecting the marine transportation system, port operations, coastal engineering, and marine governance. As part of this appointment, Dr. Brooks also served on the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board, and its Subcommittees on Planning and Policy Review and International Activities.

Two Appointments by the Council of Canadian Academies: Dr. Mary R. Brooks was appointed in November 2015 as Chair of its Expert Panel assessment on the social and economic value of shipping in Canada. The report, released on May 25, 2017, is available for download: The Value of Commercial Marine Shipping to Canada.This followed the appointment in July 2015 to a four-member Expert Workshop Steering Committee to assist the CCA develop a framework for The Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping for the characterization of risks associated with marine shipping in Canadian waters. For the report on that assessment, please visit Risks of Marine Shipping in Canadian Waters.

Editor, Elsevier’s Research in Transportation Business & Management. 2010-2016. RTBM, launched in 2011 publishes themed volumes, looking at business and management policy issues in relation to passenger and freight transportation in both the industrialized and non-industrialized areas of the world. Under my watch, we published 21 volumes on a wide variety of transport topics, most volumes offering between 12 and 20 papers, although two exceeded 20!

IAME2014: My primary service focus in 2014 was managing the International Scientific Steering Committee’s review of the 241 papers whose abstracts were accepted for the International Association of Maritime Economists 2014 conference in Norfolk VA in July. Harnessing a team of more than 141 volunteers was a welcome challenge, and by March 21st the reviews were compiled, and the final program contained 138 refereed papers and presentations. To the end of September 2014, my primary role was to assist the eight journals in which selected papers will appear. Since then, I have provided editorial assistance to three journals: Maritime Policy and Management, International Journal of Shipping Transport and Logistics and the World Maritime University’s Journal of Marine Affairs.

Policy Work for Governments
Two projects briefing a government considering legislative reform/regulation of ocean carrier alliances; those projects were completed in February of 2018 and March 2022.

Pro bono participation in the Canada Expert Panel for the European Court of Auditors’ review of transport infrastructure projects. Their final report The EU framework for large transport infrastructure projects: an international comparison (Review No 05/2021) was published 25 November 2021.

Participant, Roundtable on Logistics Development Strategies and their Performance Measurement of the International Transport Forum of the OECD in Queretaro, Mexico in March 2015. The report is available for download. The comments made at this Roundtable built on the research in progress on Port Performance for the Canada Transportation Act Review Panel, available from the menu under Clients and Projects for more information and to download the report for the CTAR Panel.

Chair, Roundtable on Port Investment and Container Shipping for the International Transport Forum and the Government of Chile. See the menu under Clients and Projects for more information and to download the report.

Member, TRB Peer Review Panel, of the Panama Canal Expansion Study, for the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration, 2012-2013. The Phase 1 report was released November 25, 2013.

Chair, Ad-Hoc Expert Meeting on Assessing Port Performance at United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Geneva, Switzerland, December 12, 2012.

Member, Marine Board Workshop Committee on Safe Navigation in the Arctic, held October 15-16, 2012 in Seattle. The final report was released 11 April 2013. Click on the link above for the summary report.

Secretariat, Expert Review Panel on a Yarmouth-U.S. Ferry Service, for the Province of Nova Scotia, 2012. The report is available by clicking on the link. The successful bidder started service May 2014. That service functioned for two years using a ship type not recommended by the panel and the contract was not renewed at the end of two years. A new bidder, Bay Ferries, now has a contract for 10 years, again using a ship type not recommended by the panel.  Service was postponed in summer of 2019 when the permits were not issued at the Bar Harbor ME terminal and yet the service is funded by the Government of Nova Scotia. Interesting reading.

Rapporteur for Panel, Supply Chains and Gateways in Volatile Markets, International Transport Forum 2009 on Transport for a Global Economy: Challenges and Opportunities in a Downturn, Joint Transport Research Centre of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Leipzig, May 26-29, 2009.

Invited Participant, Research Roundtable 146 on Integration and Competition between Transport and Logistics Businesses, Joint Transport Research Centre of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the European Council of Ministers of Transport, Paris, February 5-6, 2009.

Chair, Research Roundtable on Port Competition and Hinterland Connections for the Joint Transport Research Centre of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the European Council of Ministers of Transport, which took place in Paris, April 10-11, 2008.

Boards and Committees
Dr. Brooks has 40 years of service on various types of Boards—for-profit and non-profit. As well she has been doing research in the area of corporate governance for more than 20 years.

  • Marine Board of Transportation Research Board (the U.S. National Academies), Member 2008-2014, Vice-chair 2014-2016, Chair 2016-2018. (Also TRB Executive Committee and Subcommittee on Planning and Policy Review.)
  • Vice-chair, Marine Group, Transportation Research Board, 2012-2015.
  • International Association of Maritime Economists, Secretary and Treasurer, 1994-1998. Council Member, 1998-2000, 2004-2010, 2012-2014. Chair, International Scientific Steering Committee 2013-2014.
  • Committee for Funding Options for Freight Transportation Projects, Transportation Research Board, 2006-2009.
  • Committee on International Trade and Transportation, Transportation Research Board, Chair, 2002-2008. Emeritus Member, appointed effective 1 January 2014 – indefinite. A retrospective of this work has been published in Fall 2019.
  • Halifax International Airport Authority, Director. 1995-2004. Member of the Human Resources Committee and the Communications and Community Relations Committee, 1995-2000, Member of the Human Resources and Pension Committee and the Capital, Safety and Environment Committee, 2000-04.
  • Province of Nova Scotia, Department of Transportation and Public Works, Chair of the Association, Boards and Commissions Review Panel, 2000-02.
  • Halifax Board of Trade. Director 1994. Metropolitan Halifax Chamber of Commerce. Vice-President Policy 1996-98. Director 1995-6, 1998-2000.
  • Society for International Maritime Centres, Director, 1990-98.
  • Jellett Biotek Limited. Director. 1996-99.
  • Halifax-Dartmouth Port Development Commission, Director. 1992-95.
  • Canadian Transportation Research Forum, President 1990-91. Board member 1983-1993.
  • Board of Governors, Dalhousie University. 1988-90.
  • Alice Housing. (A United Way agency.) Director 1982-87. Chair of the Board. 1985-86.

Visiting Appointments

  • Visiting Scholar, University of Antwerp, November 2018.
  • Visiting Scholar, University of Sydney’s Institute for Transportation and Logistics Studies, January–May 2010.
  • Canada-US Fulbright Scholar at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, January–May 2005.
  • Expert Advisor to the Bureau of Economics and Agreements Analysis, Federal Maritime Commission, Washington, January 1998.
  • Visiting Fellow at Australia’s Bureau of Transport and Communications Economics, advising on the liner shipping industry, July 1995.
  • Scholar in Residence, Canada Maritime Services Limited (a subsidiary of CP Ships), Horley, UK. August–December, 1991.
  • Visiting Fellow, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, January–April, 1984.
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