Toohey To Retire As WCI President/CEO

Waterways Council Inc. (WCI) announced February 12 that Michael Toohey, president and CEO of the organization since 2011, will retire.

“Having turned 71 this month, I believe it is time to focus on my faith, family, my golf handicap and my other interests,” Toohey said. “I remain committed to WCI’s continued achievement now and in the future once a successor is named.”

The announcement was made during the WCI board of directors’ meeting in Washington, D.C.

WCI Chairman Peter Stephaich said Toohey had left his mark on the nation’s waterways infrastructure.

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“Mike’s leadership over the last eight years has resulted in true modernization of our inland waterways system: full and efficient funding for the Corps of Engineers’ civil works mission for lock and dam construction and major rehabilitation of the inland waterways, as well as historic operations and maintenance funding, over the last seven fiscal years; enactment of the Capital Development Plan into law in 2014; a WCI-advocated increase in the diesel fuel tax commercial operators pay into the Inland Waterways Trust Fund that has resulted in five lock projects under construction rather than just one; and the opening of Olmsted Locks and Dam four years ahead of schedule in 2018,” Stephaich said. “These and so many more successes have established WCI as the leading national advocate for inland waterways infrastructure, and we are stronger as a nation for Mr. Toohey’s counsel.”

Before joining WCI, Toohey was a consultant for The Livingston Group (2007–2011), providing legislative representation before Congress and the executive branch for clients from the chemical and transportation sectors.

He also served as vice president, director of government relations, associate director of government relations and senior Washington representative for Ashland Inc. (1998–2007).

Nominated by President George Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Toohey was assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation from May 1992–January 1993.

He also served as staff director of the Republican staff, Committee on Public Works and Transportation, from 1983 through 1989, and as staff director, Republican staff, Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries from 1981 through 1983. He was also a professional staff member on the Committee on Public Works and Transportation from 1975 through 1981.

Commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army, he served on active duty as a staff officer for the Chief of Engineers from 1971–1975.

WCI’s executive committee will select an executive search firm to begin the process to seek a president/CEO successor.