President Biden on Tuesday nominated Adm. Linda Fagan to be the next commandant of the Coast Guard and, if confirmed, she would be the first woman to lead the service.
Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz completes his four-year term on June 1.
Fagan has been vice commandant since June 2021, serving as the service’s chief operating officer, which includes executing the commandant’s Strategic Intent, managing day-to-day organizational governance, and service as the Coast Guard’s top acquisition executive.
Before becoming vice commandant, Fagan was commander of the Coast Guard’s Pacific Area, a vast expanse that ranges from the Rocky Mountains across the Pacific and Indian Oceans to the East Coast of Africa.
“Adm. Fagan is an exceptional senior Coast Guard officer and nominee, possessing the keen intellect, the depth of operational experience, and the well-honed leadership and managerial acumen to serve with distinction as our service’s 27th commandant,” Schultz said in a statement.
Some of Fagan’s previous assignments include deputy commandant for operations, policy and capability, commander of the First Coast Guard District, which is part of the Atlantic Area, a joint assignment as deputy director of operations for U.S. Northern Command, sea duty aboard the heavy polar icebreaker POLAR STAR, commander Sector New York, and service on all seven continents.
Fagan has selected and Biden has nominated Vice Adm. Steven Poulin to be the next vice commandant. Poulin currently commands Coast Guard Atlantic Area. If confirmed, he would relieve Fagan as vice commandant on May 24.
If confirmed, Fagan will inherit a number of ongoing challenges that Schultz and previous commandants have confronted including the ongoing recapitalization of the service’s surface and air assets, making up a shortfall in operations and support accounts amid ever-mounting demands on the Coast Guard, and a backlog of shore-side infrastructure needs.