Alberto Aleman Zubieta

Alberto Alemán Zubieta

1996 - 2012

Alberto Alemán Zubieta is the CEO of the Panama Canal Authority, the autonomous agency that manages the Panama Canal, the leading interoceanic waterway that serves world maritime commerce.

Alberto Alemán Zubieta began his professional career in the construction field.  For many years, he served as CEO of one of the largest construction companies in the Republic of Panama.  From 1996 to 1999, he served as Administrator of the former Panama Canal Commission, the United States Government federal agency which was responsible, until December 31, 1999, for the administration and operation of the Panama Canal. 

In 1998, two years into his appointment as head of the Panama Canal Commission, he was appointed Administrator of the Panama Canal Authority, the Panamanian entity tasked with the administration of the waterway upon its transfer to the Republic of Panama, on December 31, 1999.  During the following two years, he served simultaneously as Administrator for both the Panama Canal Commission and the Panama Canal Authority, ensuring that the decisions taken under the Panama Canal Commission would have continuity under the Panama Canal Authority.  In 2005, the Board of Directors re-elected him to lead the Panama Canal Authority for another seven years.

Under his leadership, the Panama Canal Authority´s vision has been to transform the Canal into a world leader in services to the maritime industry, to be the cornerstone of the global transportation system, and a model of excellence, integrity, and transparency.

Alberto Alemán Zubieta has been instrumental in promoting a sense of pride among Panamanians for the Panama Canal.  The maritime industry has acknowledged his leadership in transforming the Canal into a successful model of operation.  For these reasons, his participation is frequently requested in different forums, in order to share his thoughts and best practices. 

Alberto Alemán Zubieta is the recipient of numerous national and international awards for his achievements and contributions to the world maritime industry.  Some of these are the following:

  • “Doctor of Science in Maritime Affairs, honoris causa, awarded by the Board of Governors of the World Maritime University in Malmo, Sweden, to be awarded on December 2, 2012.
  • The National Order of the Legion of Honor in the degree of Officer, awarded on June 27, 2012 by the French government.
      • “Georgia Ports Authority Partnership in Excellence Medal”, awarded by the Georgia Ports Authority, in Sea Island Atlanta, Georgia on February 6, 2012.
      • “Distinguished Service in the Hemisphere Award”, awarded by the Latin Trade magazine as part of its 2011 BRAVO Business Awards.  Presented in Miami on October 28, 2011.
      • Distinguished with the 72nd position of the Top 100 Most Influential People In Shipping of the Lloyd´s List, December 2010 edition
      • “International Maritime Prize 2008” awarded by the International Maritime Organization Council on July 3, 2009.  Presented in London, on November 30, 2009.
      • “Honorary Mention - Abel Bravo Medal” awarded by the Panamanian Society of Engineers and Architects on October 21, 2009
      • "Lifetime Achievement Award" from Lloyd's List - a leading daily newspaper for the shipping community - presented on September 8, 2009
      • “Silver Bell Award” awarded by the Seamen’s Church Institute in June 2009
      • “Distinguished Graduate Award” awarded by the Texas A&M University Department of Civil Engineering in April 2009
      • “Maritime Personality” award conferred by the Panama Maritime IX World Conference and Exhibition in February 2009
      • Inducted into the Maritime International Hall of Fame in May 2007, presented by the Maritime Association of the Port of New York and New Jersey
      • “The National Order of the Legion of Honor”, the highest award bestowed by the French government, awarded in December 2006
      • “Outstanding International Alumnus Award of Texas A&M University” awarded in December 2003
      • “Government Official of the Year” award presented by Capital Financiero in December 2003
      • Declared ”Meritorious Son of the City of Panama” in October 2003 and awarded the “Key to the City” by the Municipal Council
      • The “Order of Río Branco” awarded in July 2003 by the Government of Brazil
      • "Friendship Award" in October 2002 by the U.S. - Panama Business Council (USPA)
      • “Businessman of the Year 2002" awarded by  the Panamanian Business Executives Association (APEDE) in March 2002
      • “Maritime Personality 2001” award presented by Seatrade in April 2001
      • “Florencio Icaza Award” bestowed by the Association of Panamanian Architects and Engineers (SPIA) in January 1998
      • “Honorary Fellow” in October 1997 by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
      • “Federal Engineer of the Year Award” in February 1998 by the National Society of Professional Engineers (USNSPE)
      • The “William Ross Medal” presented in January 1992 by the Panamanian Chamber of Construction (CAPAC)

He is member of various international and local organizations, such as:  the International Advisory Board of Texas A&M University, the World Economic Forum, the Chief Executives Organization, the Panamanian Chamber of Construction, and the Panamanian Association of Architects and Engineers, among others.

A native of Panama City, Republic of Panama, Alberto Alemán Zubieta is a graduate of the civil and industrial engineering schools of Texas A&M University.  He lives in Panama with his wife, Ana Matilde, and their three children.

Updated: 04-Sep-2012