Gentlemen, on Your Marks!

Gentlemen, on Your Marks!

IHB Candidates for a Director Position Ready to Go

Every five years, tensions at the International Hydrographic Conference in Monaco rise to a maximum, when the Member States of the IHO gather to vote for the three director positions at the International Hydrographic Bureau (IHB). The next Conference will take place from 23 to 27 April, and it is election time again. So far, the Bureau has received nine nominations, from five continents. One nomination is a current director, Robert Ward from Australia.

The other two current directors, Vice Admiral Alexandros Maratos from Greece and Captain Hugo Gorziglia from Chile, are not allowed to be nominated again as they are at the end of their second term. If the new structure of the IHO is approved by the Conference, president Maratos will be replaced by a secretary-general with two subordinate directors. The voting procedure will be led by , national hydrographer of Latvia.
With the support of the IHB, Hydro International has invited the candidates to present themselves in mini-interviews. Full statements of candidature are available as part of the Conference documents at the site of the IHO ( The order in which we present the candidates follows the order used in the IHO documentation. We would like to thank each candidate for responding and sharing their visions on the future of the IHO. Although nominations can be made until ten days before the start of the conference, the IHB strongly recommended that all nominations be submitted before February. Therefore, it is likely that the current set of mini-interviews is complete.

The contributions make clear that there are remarkable differences between the candidates with regard to their viewpoints, styles and backgrounds. If your ideas about the future of the IHO correspond to the ideas of specific candidates, do not hesitate to contact your national Hydrographic Office with recommendations. The future of the IHO has an impact on the full extent of the hydrographic sector, as public and private hydrographic activities are more connected to each other than ever.

In 2007, a similar set of mini-interviews in Hydro International with the title “And the winner is …”, indicated that all six candidates were already winners, due to the fact that they had been nominated. This is still an undisputable truth. Now, Hydro International would like to add to that: on your marks, get set for an exciting race to the finish in Monaco. May the best candidate win!

Candidate: Robert Ward
Nationality: Australian
Born: 1951
Languages: English, French
Currently: Director at IHB
Candidacy announced: 20 May 2011

“The next five years will be a time of further transition as the IHO continues to implement its new organisational structure.
In the face of likely on-going global economic stress, it will be an important time for the Directing Committee to raise the profile of hydrography and the valuable contribution that each Member State makes both globally and nationally. The president and the other directors will have a key function in ensuring that every opportunity is taken to raise awareness at the highest international levels about the crucial role that hydrography and nautical charting plays in safety of navigation, marine environmental protection and international maritime commerce. The IHO can point to its achievements in chart standardisation and coverage, and digital data standards. In particular, these are now influencing new maritime information initiatives such as e-Navigation. At the same time, the absence of modern survey data for many parts of the world is a matter of increasing concern. In this regard, the Directing Committee must bring this to the attention of all governments, thereby empowering existing and new national hydrographers to be able to undertake their roles more effectively.
The new Directing Committee will also face the challenge of a significant changeover of long-serving IHB staff. The changeover has just begun and over the next five years the remaining professional assistant positions and some other key staff will all change. This presents a significant potential loss of corporate memory for the organisation that must be managed carefully by the Directing Committee.”

Candidate: Captain Rachid Essoussi
Nationality: Tunisian
Born: 1954
Languages: Arabic, French, English,
Italian, Spanish
Currently: Director at Tunisian Hydrographic and Oceanographic Center
Candidacy announced: 7 June 2011

“After having graduated from the Italian Naval Academy in 1981, I began my career in hydrography in 1986. Since then, I participated in the establishment of the Tunisian hydrographic service with qualified personnel and consistently adequate equipment. After re-surveying the Tunisian waters, these efforts culminated in 2003 with the production of the first Tunisian nautical chart in accordance with international standards and in 2005 with the production of the first ENC.
Since my appointment in 2002 as director of the Tunisian Navy Hydrographic and Oceanographic Center, my objective has been the endowment of the Center at the national level with a legal status allowing it to fully assume the responsibilities set forth by the SOLAS Convention.
At an international level, I regularly and actively took part in various IHO and MBSHC conferences. I chaired the MBSHC from 2007 until 2009 and the 4th IHEC in June 2009.
I believe that the IHO is at a crucial stage. In addition to the implementation of the new structure, the new Directing Committee has to find solutions to the disparities in the worldwide coverage of ENCs, the deficiency in standards due to the rapid evolution of technology, the use of hydrographic data in the applications related to the predicting and managing of environmental catastrophes and the support of developing states.
Through my integration to the Directing Committee of the IHB, I endeavour to make the Bureau closer to the hydrographic services and more attentive to the ‘small services’ in connection with the historical hydrographic services so that everyone will be in tune with technological developments and standards and fulfil his obligations towards the international maritime community.”

Candidate: Vice Admiral Gilles Bessero
Nationality: French
Born: 1952
Languages: French, English, Spanish
Currently: Inspector for the naval sector at the French Defence Procurement Directorate
Candidacy announced: 8 July 2011

I stand for election as president of the IHB Directing Committee, drawing on my hydrographic experience, management capabilities, ongoing involvement in IHO, passion for the oceans and ardour to serve the maritime community.
I joined SHOM (French HO) as survey officer in 1976 and progressed to senior staff officer and IHO focal point in 1994. Appointed to the French Defence Procurement Directorate (DGA) in 1999, I returned to SHOM as director in 2005. I transformed SHOM into an autonomous public establishment and led its development until 2010, when I was nominated inspector in charge of the naval sector (four-star) within DGA.
I have demonstrated my understanding of IHO issues, my personal engagement and ability to be proactive and federate efforts for the general interest, through chairing or participating in many Regional Hydrographic Commissions and IHO technical organs, and lately as first chair of the Inter-Regional Coordination Committee.
If elected, I pledge to ensure the relevance and efficiency of IHB, through team building and proposing and implementing deliverables, associated milestones and performance indicators, to make the most cost-effective use of resources. I believe that IHO priorities should include the provision of adequate ENC coverage, its contribution to the e-navigation strategy implementation plan and the development of MSDI as well as the acceleration of capacity building and the ratification of the protocol of amendments to the IHO Convention. I will take great care that IHB closely works with Member States in every region to encompass IHO stakeholders’ needs on a worldwide basis.

Candidate: Rear Admiral Mustafa Ipteş
Nationality: Turkish
Born: 1960
Languages: Turkish, English
Currently: Retired from the Turkish Navy
Candidacy announced: 18 July 2011

“I joined the Navy in 1981, having obtained a BSs in Oceanography. I had a long and fulfilling service in the Turkish Navy and served in many capacities with both sea and shore posts during my extensive career. In the last two decades, I have been extensively involved in maritime safety, security and policy affairs. I also contributed to maritime safety, hydrographic and oceanographic issues both regionally and internationally through my active participation in a range of IHO, IOC and IMO activities. I served as the hydrographer of Turkey from 2006 to 2010 and I was the chairman of the MBSHC in 2009-2010.
I believe that hydrography is a fundamental element and IHO is a key organisation for maritime safety and the marine environment. It is important to address the emerging needs of the IHO and move the organisation forward in the rapidly changing technologies and requirements. Important topics and priorities for the future of IHO that I want to focus on are as follows:
- The production of ENCs and to achieve global coverage.
- The study and finalisation of the new standard S-100 which will replace the current S-57, in order for ENCs and other maritime requirements to be better served.
- The need for training of developing countries through the cost-effective Capacity Building Programme of the organisation.
- The support for the e-Navigation project of IMO and to maintain good relations and close co-operation with other international organisations, the maritime industry and interested stakeholders.
- The need to increase the number of the Member States for improving the global hydrographic capacity.”

Candidate: Captain Wesley Cavalheiro
Nationality: Brazilian
Born: 1957
Languages: Portuguese, English,
Currently: Advisor on IHO affairs at the Brazilian Directorate of Hydro-
graphy and Navigation
Candidacy announced: 14 December 2011

Captain Wesley was commissioned Navy Officer in 1978 and the following year he began to work in field of hydrography. He obtained his post-graduation in hydrography in 1982, and a master degree in Naval Sciences in 1995, beyond specialisation in quality management, strategic planning, environmental management and other related subjects.
With almost 40 years in sea and shore services, most of them related to hydrographic activities, Captain Wesley has been fully involved in the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) affairs in the last eight years. His background goes beyond hydrography, also involving a strong experience in oceanography and aids to navigation, allowing him to contribute to numerous activities in IHO’s subsidiary organs and Regional Hydrographic Commissions (RHCs).
Captain Wesley believes in hydrography and nautical cartography as key components to the development of nations. Therefore, the role of an IHB director is a singular opportunity to influence and to promote a worldwide exchange of knowledge and capacity for development based on hydrography and associated sciences; co-operation between institutions with common and/or related purposes having the maritime subjects as flagship for their actions; the integration of efforts of different stakeholders – governmental, non-governmental and private organisations – on maritime related products and services; and the search for the common sense on conflicting points of view and interests between the different actors on hydrography and associated science fields.

Candidate: Vice Admiral Bola Rao
Nationality: Indian
Born: 1951
Languages: English, Hindi, Kannada
Currently: Former Chief Hydrographer at the Government of India
Candidacy announced: 30 September 2011

“Having been commissioned in the Indian Navy in 1972, I specialised in hydrography in 1978 and served in the Hydrographic Department (both in survey ships and HO) for over 33 years.
I have had the privilege to head the Indian Hydrographic Department as the chief hydrographer to the Government of India for 7 years, a phase which propelled the department’s growth both in Infrastructure and HRD as also its contribution in matters of hydrography both at the regional and global level through various co-operation mechanisms. I had the good fortune of being the chair of the North Indian Ocean Hydrographic Commission for three years to further the hydrographic co-operation in this region.
Having worked at the national level and the regional level, with a conviction of having produced the desired output, I feel, I can positively contribute at the global level carrying with me, my vast, rich and varied experiences in project management, capacity building, infrastructure and HRD development, strategic planning and networking at both national and international levels.
If elected I will do my utmost to rope in my wisdom and experience and coupled with that of the other directors elected, bring forth a collective leadership to further the effectiveness of IHB to confront the challenges faced by IHO and towards fructification of its goals. I would look to effective networking of the regional hydrographic commissions, Member States, the academia, the industry and the users to synergise efforts to promote hydrography, improve capacity building, Chart and ENC coverage, and reach out to regions where charting and capacity to charting is inadequate. I also feel it is time that India/Asia is represented in IHB to bring in the flavours of this region.”

Candidate: Captain Abri Kampfer
Nationality: South-African
Born: 1959
Languages: Afrikaans, English, Dutch
Currently: Hydrographer at the South African Navy
Candidacy announced: 3 November 2011

“I was appointed hydrographer of the South African Navy in 2004 and represent South Africa at various committees of the International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO). I am the chair of the IHO Regional Hydrographic Commission, Southern Africa and Islands Hydrographic Commission (SAIHC), vice-chair of the IHO Inter-Regional Coordination Committee (IRCC) and past chair of the IHO WEND Committee.
Under my direction as hydrographer of the SA Navy, South Africa has achieved full ENC coverage. My interaction as the chair of SAIHC with the hydrographic authorities and industry in the region has improved communication and awareness and my involvement in a number of technical visits within the Southern African region has assisted in the formulation of a capacity building plan and the arrangement and execution of several successful capacity building events. Capacity building remains an important strategic objective in ensuring that IHO Member States, particularly developing States, function on equal terms.
It is the opinion that the IHB should be the conduit for Member States to express ideas, share experiences and expertise for the benefit of the IHO to ensure maintenance of the standards required for safe navigation. There are still many coastal states that are not members of the IHO and a vibrant organisation that is seen to function well, adapt quickly with the environment and changing times will attract membership. Raising awareness on the fundamental importance of hydrography world-wide for sustainable development and adherence to the International Convention on Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) is achievable and considered top priority.”

Candidate: Captain Floor de Haan
Nationality: Dutch
Born: 1959
Languages: Dutch, English, German
Currently: Deputy director defence communications at the Netherlands Ministry of Defence
Candidacy announced: 4 January 2012

“The North Sea with its main port Rotterdam is a major maritime hub of global trade. Safe navigation in these waters is of vital national and international importance. The increasing claim on the maritime infrastructure in the Netherlands is therefore a growing challenge.
I was the national hydrographer for six years in this complex maritime setting, supported by qualifications and skills in navigation, geodesy, hydrographic surveying, leadership, management, multimedia communication and diplomacy. I took on the responsibility of:
(1) further professionalisation of the Hydrographic Service by optimising the hydrographic value chain;
(2) initiating a scientific validation of the Dutch re-survey policy;
(3) introducing a fully integrated workflow-supported production system for all nautical civil and military products.
My international commitment is best reflected in my presidency of the steering committee of the RENC IC-ENC. My diplomatic and management skills were called upon in building a climate of trust, key to successfully harmonising worldwide validation and distribution of ENCs. I trust my profile matches the experience and skills needed by today’s IHB directors, when a balanced mix of co-operation and authority is called for: As director of IHB, I will tap into the positive energy that is generated by team spirit. I plan to work closely with the complete IHB team to further professionalise the full range of required support. I will actively coach, encourage and facilitate all IHO members in deciding on global hydrographic, cartographic and distribution issues. Always with the objective to improve the safety of navigation and serve the maritime community: Ex Usu Nautae.” Any questions or advice? Please contact me at [email protected].

Candidate: Captain Vaughan Nail

Nationality: British
Born: 1957
Languages: English, French
Currently: Hydrographer of the Navy at the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office
Candidacy announced: 30 January 2012

“From a perspective formed by 30 years as a hydrographic professional, culminating as Hydrographer of the Navy, I consider the safety of the mariner to be at the heart of the IHO’s business. Although the future also demands wider use of our outputs, we must remain constant to this enduring requirement and the continuing vitality of the IHO’s work programme is essential to success.
After serving for 5 years as the chair of the IHO Hydrographic Standards and Services Committee, I fully appreciate the challenges and exciting opportunities that lie close ahead as the hydrographic and wider maritime communities exploit the potential of the S-100 environment. I trust my skills will complement the IHO’s commitment to derive greater safety and operational benefits, as ECDIS becomes the predominant navigation tool.
My international relations work and extensive engagement activities have brought an appreciation of the views and needs of many individual Member States, as well as recognition of the key roles undertaken by their associated Regional Hydrographic Commissions. I hope to provide leadership in addressing, through the IHO capacity building programme and the influencing role of the IHB, the safety of navigation along many of the new shipping routes which feed centres of economic growth.
My vision is therefore to enhance the relevance and dynamism of the IHO as a whole and to enhance the IHB’s standing as a representative and authoritative voice on its behalf, as well as an effective agent at its service.”

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