Christopher Wiernicki

Christopher J. Wiernicki

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Christopher J. Wiernicki is Chairman and CEO of the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and Chairman of ABS’ Affiliated Companies. Mr. Wiernicki has over 35 years of extensive commercial, government and international experience in marine and offshore design, operations, infrastructure and safety management, ports and bunkering, digitalization, cybersecurity, and clean energy transition.

He is a serving member of the President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC), which advises the White House on how to reduce risks and improve the resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure sectors.

Prior to his current role, Wiernicki served as Chairman of the International Association of Classification Societies and held senior roles at ABS, including President and Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chief Technology Officer and President and COO of ABS Europe Ltd. Prior to joining ABS, Wiernicki was the CEO of Designers & Planners, Inc., a naval architecture firm. 

Wiernicki is a recognized industry thought leader in the areas of decarbonization and sustainability, digitalization and advanced technology, marine safety management and human factors, naval architecture, marine engineering, alternative fuels, carbon economics, and environmental, social and governance (ESG).

In March 2023, he accepted a position on Singapore’s Maritime International Advisory Panel (IAP). The IAP was established by the Singapore Ministry of Transport (MOT) and Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) to seek global perspectives on key trends that will shape the maritime industry.

In 2022, Wiernicki was selected as a member of the Marine Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. In 2021, he was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering for his innovative leadership in the design, engineering and operation of ships and offshore structures. He is a Fellow with the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers and serves on numerous university boards and advisory councils.

In 2013, Wiernicki was awarded the Vice Admiral Emory S. “Jerry” Land Medal from the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers for outstanding accomplishment in the marine field. In 2016, he earned the United Seaman’s Service Admiral of the Ocean Seas Award for outstanding contributions to the maritime industry, and he is a member of the International Maritime Hall of Fame Class of 2016.

In 2017, Wiernicki was named Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s Person of the Year.  In 2018, he was recognized as one of the top 50 influential people in the tanker and trade industry by Tanker Shipping & Trade magazine and was named the International Personality of the Year at the annual Greek Shipping Awards. In April 2023, he was awarded the GREEN4SEA Leadership Award, recognizing his industry leadership and contribution to a more sustainable industry.  

Wiernicki was the Distinguished Industry Speaker at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy's Commencement Ceremony for the Class of 2020, and in June 2023, he delivered the Commencement Message to the graduating Class of 2023 at the Webb Institute. In October 2023, Wiernicki was selected to receive the first Seatrium Visiting Professorship at the National University of Singapore College of Design and Engineering to attract top talent from the energy transition and sustainability sectors to promote knowledge transfer, capability building and support development of innovative maritime technology.

Wiernicki holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Vanderbilt University and was inducted to Vanderbilt University School of Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni and was named to the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering’s Board of Visitors. He holds a master’s degree in structural engineering from George Washington University where he was inducted into the George Washington University Engineering and Applied Science Hall of Fame. Wiernicki also holds a master’s degree in ocean engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and completed Harvard University’s Advanced Management Program. Wiernicki also received honorary Doctor of Science degrees from Maine Maritime Academy, Webb Institute and SUNY Maritime College, and an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from Stevens Institute of Technology.