Rear Admiral Paul Thomas serves as the Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy overseeing three Coast Guard directorates: Inspections and Compliance, Marine Transportation Systems, and Commercial Regulations and Standards. The programs under his leadership include: waterways management, navigation and boating safety, ports and facilities, merchant mariner credentialing, vessel documentation, marine casualty investigation, commercial vessel inspections, and port state control.
A specialist in Marine Safety, Security and Environmental Protection, he has served at the Marine Safety Center in Washington, DC; Marine Safety Office San Francisco Bay, CA; Marine Safety Detachment Port Canaveral, FL; and Marine Safety Office Jacksonville, FL. He has also served as Commanding Officer of Marine Safety Unit Galveston, TX; Commander of Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville, FL, and as the Director of Inspections and Compliance at Coast Guard Headquarters.
His other tours include Fifth Coast Guard District Chief of Staff, Executive Assistant to the Assistant Commandant for Marine Safety, Security and Stewardship; Military Assistant to the Director of Net Assessment in the Office of the Secretary of Defense; Commanding Officer of USCGC CAPE ROMAIN and Operations Officer of USCGC BLACKHAW.
Rear Admiral Thomas is a graduate of the US Coast Guard Academy and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2005 he completed a National Security Fellowship at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and in 2010 he served as a Senior Fellow to the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group (SSG XXIX).
His military awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Coast Guard Commendation Medal, Transportation 9/11 Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, and the Coast Guard Achievement Medal.