CAPT Eric Christensen (USCG, ret.)
Director of Regulatory Affairs and Risk Management, Passenger Vessel Association
Eric Christensen is the Director of Regulatory Affairs and Risk Management for the Passenger Vessel Association. The Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) is the national trade association for U.S.-flagged passenger vessels of all types with more than 550 vessel and associate members. PVA vessel members own and operate passenger and vehicular ferries, dinner cruise vessels, sightseeing and excursion vessels, private charter vessels, whale watching and eco-tour operators, windjammers, gaming vessels, amphibious vessels, water taxis, and overnight cruise ships. Eric is responsible for advising members on all manner of issues relating to commercial vessel safety and security. He is the staff resource for PVA’s Regulatory and Safety & Security Committees, and a member of the PVA/Coast Guard Quality Partnership. He was instrumental in developing and gaining Coast Guard acceptance of PVA’s Flagship Safety Management System. During the 2020 Global Pandemic, Eric spearheaded the development and publication of reopening guidelines for the domestic passenger vessel fleet.
Prior to joining the PVA team, Eric had a 26 year Coast Guard career exclusively in the marine safety program. His assignments include tours in San Francisco, CA, Portland, OR, Chicago, IL, New York, NY, and Washington D.C. in a variety of supervisory and program leadership positions, including serving his final tour as the Coast Guard's Chief of the Traveling Inspection Staff and National Centers of Expertise. In this role he led a highly experienced team of senior marine inspectors and four National Centers of Expertise to provide professional Marine Safety expertise and leadership to improve Coast Guard workforce proficiency and performance. He also played an integral role in several crucial regulations including the development of the Final Rule for Small Passenger Vessel Inspection (Subchapters T and K), International Safety Management Code Compliance Policy for Small Passenger Vessels, and the Streamline Inspection Program.
Eric is a 1987 graduate of California Maritime Academy, with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering and a Third Assistant Engineer's license for steam or motor vessels of unlimited horsepower. He also earned a Master of Engineering degree from the University of Maryland in 2004.