Christopher J. Wiernicki is Chairman, President and CEO of the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and Chairman of the ABS Group of Companies, Inc. (ABS Group). Founded in 1862, ABS, a mission-driven global leader in classification and technical services, develops industry recognized design and construction standards for marine and offshore assets and audits against those standards to ensure regulatory, safety and environmental compliance. ABS Group is a leading risk management consulting company, and together, the ABS affiliated companies provide support for the marine, offshore, energy, and government sectors.
Prior to his current role, Wiernicki served as Chairman of the International Association of Classification
Societies and held senior roles at ABS, including President and Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chief
Technology Officer and President and COO of ABS Europe Ltd. Prior to joining ABS, Wiernicki was the
CEO of Designers & Planners, Inc.
Wiernicki is a recognized industry thought leader in the areas of decarbonization and sustainability,
digitalization and advanced technology, marine safety management and human factors, naval
architecture, marine engineering, alternative fuels, carbon economics, and environmental, social and
In 2021, Wiernicki was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering for his innovative leadership
in the design, engineering and operation of ships and offshore structures. He is a Fellow with the
Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers and serves on numerous university boards and
In 2013, he was awarded the Vice Admiral Emory S. Land Medal for outstanding accomplishment in the
marine field. In 2016, he earned the United Seaman’s Service Admiral of the Ocean Seas Award for
outstanding contributions to the maritime industry, and he is a member of the International Maritime
Hall of Fame Class of 2016. In 2017, Wiernicki was named Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s Person of
the Year, and in 2018, he was recognized as one of the top 50 influential people by Tanker Shipping &
Wiernicki holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Vanderbilt and was inducted to Vanderbilt
University School of Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni. He holds a master’s degree in
structural engineering from George Washington University where he was elected to the George
Washington University Engineering Hall of Fame. Wiernicki also holds a master’s degree in ocean
engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and completed Harvard University’s
Advanced Management Program. Wiernicki also received honorary Doctor of Science degrees from
Maine Maritime Academy and SUNY Maritime College, and an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree
from Stevens Institute of Technology.