Marine safety, security and environmental protection specialist Cynthia Stowe took over as commander of the Coast Guard’s San Francisco sector last week.
Describe the sector that you now oversee. Sector San Francisco is comprised of about 700 personnel. We’re spread out over an area of responsibility that covers up to 600 miles for certain parts of our mission. Search and rescue goes up to Point Arena and down to the south of Big Sur. For marine safety and environmental protection, we go all the way up to the Oregon border.
Where were you deployed previously? I spent the last year on a short tour in Miami as the deputy sector commander.
Have you served in the nation’s capital? I spent a number of years in D.C. and had tremendous opportunities to get a firm grasp on how our government runs. I was at the White House as special assistant to the president for homeland security, which was very cool. I also served on the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Why did you join the Coast Guard? I’m a graduate of Texas Maritime Academy. I have a license to operate commercial ships. This was a natural way to stay home [in the U.S.] and have an exciting maritime career. It has worked out quite well.