The Vice Admiral. Steven D. Poulin took up his duties as Commander Coast Guard Atlantic Area, Commander Coast Guard Defense Force East, and Director of DHS Joint Task Force-East during ‘a change of command ceremony at Coast Guard Base Portsmouth, Va., today.
Poulin assumed command from Vice-Admiral Scott A. Buschman, who served as Commander Atlantic Region since May 2018.
Prior to assuming the role of Atlantic Zone Commander, Poulin served as Director of Operations for United States Southern Command, leading United States military operations in the Caribbean Basin as well as Central and South America. Poulin’s other flag assignments include the Judge Advocate General and Chief Counsel of the Coast Guard, where he led a dedicated group of legal professionals and was responsible for the delivery of all legal services in support missions of the Coast Guard, its units and personnel. From June 2012 to April 2014, he held the position of Director of Government and Public Affairs, where he was responsible for external engagement with Congress, the media and other intergovernmental entities.
Previously, Poulin held the position of Chief, Office of Maritime and International Law. From April 2009 to July 2010, he was the Coast Guard Mobile Sector Commander, where he led Coast Guard operations in Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. He further served as Incident Commander for Deepwater Horizon oil spill response operations in the same geographic area from April 2010 to September 2010. His previous operational assignments include the Deputy Commander of the Mobile Sector. the Coast Guard; Deputy Commander, Coast Guard Group Galveston, Texas; and Law Enforcement Officer and Deputy Operations Officer at Coast Guard Group Mobile, Alabama. He was assigned as a Coast Guard Watchkeeping Officer Intrepid.
Poulin also served as Special Advisor for Border and Transportation Security in the Office of Vice President Cheney from 2005 to 2007. From 2003 to 2004, he was the Coast Guard Liaison Officer to the Office of Ocean Affairs from the State Department, where he served on US delegations to a myriad of committees of the International Maritime Organization. He served as legal advisor to the Director of Port Security of the Coast Guard from 2002 to 2003, where he helped negotiate, draft and implement new port and maritime security requirements. From 1999 to 2001, he served as legislative counsel in the Coast Guard Congressional Affairs Office. He was also a member of the United States delegation to the IMO Legal Committee from 1994 to 1996. From 1992 to 1994, he was assigned to the General Law Division of the Coast Guard.
He graduated from the US Coast Guard Academy in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science in Management. He received his Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from the University of Miami Law School in 1992. Other degrees include: a master’s degree in law (environmental law), with the highest distinction, from the George Washington University Law School in 2002; Master of Strategic Studies from the US Army War College in 2005; and Masters of Public Administration from the University of Southern Alabama in 1989. His military decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (five awards), Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), Coast Guard Medal (three awards) and Coast Guard Medal of Honor.
Buschman to relieve Vice Admiral Daniel B. Abel as Deputy Commander of the U.S. Coast Guard for operations in Washington, DC