Hartmut Hesse

Hartmut Hesse is a master mariner and was a long standing member of the IMO Secretariat. He initially studied chemistry and later joined the German Merchant Navy. In 1975 he obtained his Master’s Certificate and came ashore, working in the Dangerous Goods Department of the same shipping company he sailed with. He then moved to London as a Container Ship Operator and Owner’s Representative in a multinational container shipping consortium.

In 1991 he joined the IMO Secretariat, first as a Senior Technical Officer and subsequently as Head of the Cargoes and Facilitation Section, later the Navigation Section, of the Maritime Safety Division. After also assuming Maritime Security responsibilities in 2001, he was appointed Senior Deputy Director, responsible, amongst many others, for Counter Piracy and Terrorism, treatment of persons rescued at sea, GMDSS and LRIT. At the beginning of 2012, Captain Hesse was appointed Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Maritime Security and Counter-Piracy Programmes.

After retiring from this role at the end of 2012, Hartmut provides his unique experience in an advisory capacity. Hartmut is a visiting Professor at the World Maritime University, Malmo, Sweden and lecturing regularly at the Dalian Maritime University.

‘Tis skill, not strength,

that governs a ship.

Thomas Fuller


  • 2015 onwards

    Visiting Professor, World Maritime University, Malmö, Sweden and Dalian Maritime University, Dalian, China

  • 2013 onwards
    Consultant for maritime safety and security
  • 2012
    Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Maritime Security and Counter Piracy Programmes, International Maritime Organization, London
  • 2004 – 2011
    Senior Deputy Director, Sub-Division for Operational Safety, Maritime Training and Security, International Maritime Organization, London
  • 2002 – 2003
    Deputy Director, Head, Navigational Safety and Maritime Security Section, MSD, International Maritime Organization, London
  • 1999 – 2002
    Head Navigation Section, International Maritime Organization, London
  • 1995 – 1999
    Head, Cargoes and Facilitation Section, International Maritime Organization, London
  • 1991 – 1995
    Senior Technical Officer, Cargoes and Facilitation Section, International Maritime Organization, London
  • 1977 – 1991
    Various shore based positions, HAPAG Lloyd AG, Hamburg Germany and London, UK
  • 1975 – 1977
    Watch Keeping and Cargo Officer on General Cargo ships, HAPAG Lloyd AG, Hamburg, Germany


  • 1975
    Graduation Dipl.-Ing. Maritime Transport Engineer and Navigational Officer, College for Navigation Bremen, Germany
  • 1970
    Examination Pre-Diploma Chemistry, University Bonn, Germany