Rear Admiral Joanna Nunan

Ninth District Commander (D9)

U.S. Coast Guard


Rear Admiral Nunan assumed duty as the Ninth Coast Guard District Commander in August 2017.  She is the senior Coast Guard Commander for the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence Seaway, an area that encompasses eight states, a 1,500 mile international border, and a workforce of over 6,000 Coast Guard active duty, reserve, civilian, and auxiliary men and women.


A Bridgeport, Connecticut native, Rear Admiral Nunan graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1987.  Her early sea duty was in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and Western Pacific before she became the last commanding officer of the WWII era USCGC IRONWOOD in Kodiak, Alaska, and subsequently the first commanding officer of its state of the art replacement, the 225-foot SPAR, which was built in Marinette, Wisconsin.


Ashore, she has held senior positions in two different Cabinet offices: Military Advisor to the Secretary of Homeland Security and Military Assistant to the Secretary of Transportation.  In recent years she has been Chief of Staff at the Coast Guard Force Readiness Command, Sector Commander in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Deputy Sector Commander in San Juan, Puerto Rico.


Her professional studies range from a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to a Master Merchant Mariner license and fellowship at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a non-partisan think tank in Washington, DC.  She has attended a number of courses on national and international security at Harvard University and the Naval Post Graduate Center.


Rear Admiral Nunan’s personal awards include the Secretary of Transportation Gold Medal for Outstanding Achievement, DOT Outstanding Public Service Award, two Legion of Merits, three CG Meritorious Service Medals, and selection as the CG’s First Female Elite Athlete of the Year.