Meet our Team.

Washington, DC

John W. Butler

President and CEO

John Butler was named President and CEO of the World Shipping Council (WSC) in August 2015 after serving as General Counsel for the association since 2010.

Prior to joining the WSC, John was a Partner in the Washington, D.C. law firm of Sher & Blackwell, where he served as outside counsel to the WSC. For almost two decades, he advised liner shipping companies and trade associations on regulatory, commercial, security, hazardous materials, environmental, contract and anti-trust issues.

He has represented the liner shipping industry in federal agency rulemakings, legislative activities, and federal court litigation on a broad range of security, environmental, regulatory and commercial matters.

Lars Kjaer

Senior Vice President

Lars Kjaer has been with the World Shipping Council since its inception. Lars is involved in a multitude of safety-related and other regulatory matters and also deals with the OECD digital tax issues as far as shipping is concerned. Lars participates on behalf of WSC in meetings at the IMO regarding safety, transport of containers, dangerous goods and the Facilitation Convention. He is also chairman of ISO Technical Committee (TC 104) that is responsible for all container-related standards.

Prior to joining the World Shipping Council, Lars served as the Washington Representative for the Council of European and Japanese Shipowners' Associations (CENSA), following a career with the Royal Danish Embassy in Washington, D.C. and at the Danish Delegation to NATO, in Brussels.

Bryan Wood-Thomas

Vice President, Environmental Policy

Bryan Wood-Thomas joined the Council in 2008 to lead efforts on environment and climate throughout the liner shipping industry.

Before joining the Council, Bryan served as the Associate Director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Transportation and Air Quality. Prior to that, Bryan served as the Marine Program Director in EPA's Office of International Environmental Policy where he worked as the lead U.S. negotiator for a number of environmental-oriented international treaties.

He has chaired several negotiating efforts undertaken at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and has received numerous awards for his role in forging agreement on a series of controversial regulatory issues. He holds degrees from the State University of New York, Syracuse University, and Harvard University.

Joe Kramek

Director of U.S. Government Relations

Joe Kramek started as Director of U.S. Government Relations for WSC in March 2021.

Prior to the World Shipping Council, he has served as a U.S. Coast Guard commissioned officer for twenty-eight years, where he spent time at sea and as the Chief of Maritime, International, and Environmental Law. In this role, he led the U.S. Delegation to the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Legal Committee.

Joe was detailed for two years to the Department of Justice as an Admiralty Trial Attorney. He was also selected as a Federal Executive Fellow at the Brookings Institution where he completed one of the first research projects on maritime cybersecurity at port facilities.

Nicholas Tabori

Director of U.S. Regulatory Affairs

Nicholas “Nick” Tabori joined the WSC in April of 2022 as the Director of U.S. Regulatory Affairs. 

Prior to this, Nick served as a commissioned officer in the United States Coast Guard for 20 years.  During that time, he served at sea conducting counter narcotics patrols, search and rescue, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and was a Judge Advocate General attorney. This role included the drafting and implementation of safety and security legislation, regulations, and policy; to include cybersecurity, autonomous technology, legal counsel to the Coast Guard’s International Maritime Organization delegation, support to Ukraine, and sexual assault prevention and response

Nick was also an attorney with the National Pollution Funds Center, where he assisted the U.S. Department of Justice with oil pollution litigation. Additionally, he served in the Coast Guard’s office of information and intelligence law where he supported the counterintelligence division with operational planning, investigations, insider threat detection and prevention, and policy development. 

Patty Volonakis

Office Manager

Ryan Barock

Policy Analyst

Ryan Barock joined WSC’s Washington office in 2023. His role involves supporting the internal development of policy positions on behalf of WSC member companies on issues of maritime safety and security, U.S. legislation and regulation, environment and climate, and related initiatives.  

 Prior to joining WSC, he most recently served as a Graduate Research Assistant at the Gender and Policy Center at George Mason University, and previously held the same role at the National Security Institute at GMU. In this role he managed and supported research projects, events, and relationships with Center affiliates. His professional background also includes a project management role supporting USAID-funded international development projects. Ryan holds a BA degree in Foreign Affairs and Religious Studies from the University of Virginia and an MPA degree from the Schar School of Policy and Government at GMU.

Patty Volonakis has been with the World Shipping Council since it was created in 2000. Prior to joining WSC, she worked for Gannett as an Administrative Coordinator in the Information Technology department.

She previously spent six years at the United Way of the National Capital Area in Washington, D.C. Patty holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resources Management from the University of Maryland.



James Corbett

Environmental Director, Europe

James Corbett (P.E., Ph.D.) is Environmental Director, Europe, located in Brussels. He works with WSC colleagues and members on the very full environmental agenda built around the EU Green Deal initiative. James joined WSC in April 2021.

James is a leading expert on vessel air emissions and transportation environmental policy, came to WSC from a position as Professor at the University of Delaware and research consultant. He is a Principal at the Energy and Environmental Research Associates (EERA) and a widely published scholar who has conducted technology-policy research related to transportation, including ground-breaking research on air emissions from maritime transport, energy and environmental impacts of freight transportation, and assessment of technological and policy strategies for improving goods movement.

Arthur Huxham

Content & Social Media Manager

Arthur Huxham is Content & Social Media Manager at the World Shipping Council as of December 2022. Based in Brussels, he is responsible for supporting WSC’s brand development for the website, member communication channels, and building an engaging WSC social media presence across channels and audiences globally.

Arthur is an experienced videographer, and prior to joining the World Shipping Council he worked in social media, web management, as well as communications and marketing campaigns for employers such as Customs4Trade and BASF Group in Belgium. Arthur holds a joint Erasmus Mundus master’s degree in Journalism, Media and Globalization from the University of Amsterdam and Aarhus University and has a bachelor in Theatre & Drama from University of South Wales in the UK.

Damian Viccars

Director of Government Affairs, Europe

Damian Viccars joined the World Shipping Council as its Brussels Representative in 2012 and leads WSC’s governmental cooperation and advocacy in the European Union, liaising with the key EU Institutions of the Commission, Parliament and the Council representing Member States.

Damian has been working in EU public affairs since 2001, developing expertise in EU political developments as well as in transport, customs and cargo security policies in particular.  During this time he has also gained substantial experience working with UN bodies involved in transport and logistics including the ILO, UNECE and WCO. A dual national UK / Belgian citizen, he holds a BA Honours degree in War Studies and History from Kings College, University of London and speaks English and French.


George Charalampidis

Director, Regulatory Affairs

George Charalampidis joined the Council in 2022 as Manager, Regulatory Affairs, a global role located in London in primary liaison with the Washington, DC office.

Before joining the Council, George represented shipowners and operators through the International Chamber of Shipping at IMO, other intergovernmental organizations and fora. During that time, he served as Secretary to the Container Panel and Dangerous Goods Panel for several years, and chaired cross-industry groups with containership safety interest. Among other capacities, he represented the offshore energy sector as Assistant Secretary in the International Support Vessel Owners’ Association.

Prior to this, George served in the Hellenic Armed Forces and was appointed Judicial Representative for the conduct of European Parliament and Local Government elections. He is a Lawyer regulated in England and qualified in Greece, and has a Master’s degree (LLM) with Distinction in International Maritime Law from Swansea University.

Anna Larsson

Communications Director, General Manager Europe

Anna Larsson is Communications Director at the World Shipping Council as of October 2020, responsible for WSC communications globally. As of 2023, she also leads WSC activities in Europe and the UK.

Prior to joining the World Shipping Council, Ms. Larsson served as Head of Corporate Communications, VP, for Wallenius Wilhelmsen ASA and has held several senior communication, marketing and sustainability roles for the company over the past decade. 

With over 25 years’ experience in international communication and sustainability, Ms Larsson holds a Master’s in Business and Marketing from Lund University and a post-graduate degree in Journalism from the University of Gothenburg. She has also certified as a “One Planet Leader” by WWF and IMD. Her professional background includes management positions within Corporate Communications at Akzo Nobel in Sweden and the Netherlands.


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Ken Chia

Managing Director Asia

Ken Chia leads the WSC’s activity in Asia and is based in Singapore.

Ken has served most recently as Executive Director of the Singapore Maritime Foundation after spending more than 25 years at Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) and APL in several senior leadership roles with a primary emphasis in commercial and trade management.

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Ang Shi En


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John Bradshaw

Technical Director for Environment and Safety

John Bradshaw is Technical Director for Environment and Safety as of May 2021, a global role located in Singapore. In addition to supporting environmental work at the IMO and the EU, John adds to WSC capabilities in the Asia Pacific region on both environmental and safety matters.

John is a maritime regulatory specialist and marine engineer with a broad range of senior level experience with maritime engineering, technical and policy matters, including representing the shipping industry at the International Maritime Organization (IMO). In his previous position as Technical Director at the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), his work has focused on climate change mitigation measures and emissions to air.

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Mun Wei Jun

Director Public Policy

Mun Wei Jun leads Public Affairs in Asia and work closely with the Communications Director to develop and implement the WSC communications strategy throughout Asia.

Wei Jun has a solid public policy background with focus on environmental, innovation and labour issues, most recently working for the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore where he, among other duties, represented Singapore at the International Maritime Organisation and the International Labour Organisation

Genuine Tong

Senior Manager

Genuine joined the Singapore team in 2023. Her role involves strengthening and deepening engagement with WSC members, government regulators, other industry organizations, and international organizations on a broad range of policy matters including environment and climate, security, vessel and cargo safety, and customs regulations. 

Prior to joining WSC, she worked with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore in various roles where she attained strong industry development and public policy background. 

Ang Shi En works closely with the Managing Director, Asia to support the Singapore office’s role to assist member carriers and national industry associations on regulatory matters affecting liner shipping.

Shi En joins WSC from the Singapore Maritime Foundation, where she worked for four years, playing a key role in the development of the Maritime Singapore Connect office.