The MMF’s Organisation is made up of Chairman, Vice Chairman and 10 Board Members:

Dr Joe Borg
Dr Joe BorgChairperson
Joe Borg graduated Doctor of Laws in Malta in 1975 and Master of Laws in Wales 1988. He has held academic posts at the University of Malta since 1979. In 1995, he was the main author and drafter of the Companies Act. Borg was elected in 1995 as a Member of the House of Representatives and eventually became the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malta from 1996 to 2004; during this period he led negotiations for Malta’s accession to the EU. From 2004 to 2010 he took up the post for Member of the European Commission with responsibility for fisheries and Maritime Affairs. In 2010 he resumed lecturing at the University of Malta and was appointed Chairperson of the Board of Administrators of the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies since December 2010. He has also been appointed Director and later Chairperson of AgriBank PLC since 2012 and Chairperson of the Malta Maritime Forum from December 2015. In 2016 Joe was awarded a D.Litt Honoris Causa by the University of Malta in recognition for his work in connection with Malta’s EU accession process and his role as Malta’s first European Commissioner.
Mr Lino Vassallo
Mr Lino VassalloVice Chairperson
Lino Vassallo has been involved in maritime sector for over forty five years both in the both the private sector and, in the main, on the side of the Administration as Registrar-General of Shipping and Seamen. Currently he is the General Secretary of the Malta International Shipowners Association and Alternate Director on the Board of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations. He is the non resident Permanent Representative of Malta to the International Maritime Organisation having represented Malta since the late seventies at meetings and conferences of IMO and its sister organisations the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds and International Mobile Satellite Organisation. He sits on the Board of Governors of the IMO International Maritime Law Institute. Mr Vassallo served on the Board of Members of the Malta Maritime Authority and later the Authority for Transport in Malta. For twelve years he was the first Chairman of the Mediterranean Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control and, was one of Malta’s representatives on the Administrative Board of the European Maritime Safety Agency.
Mr Vassallo is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, Honorary Member of the Malta Maritime Law Association and recipient of the IMLI degree of Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa. Mr Vassallo worked tirelessly in development and promotion of the Malta flag State regime. He is a firm believer in the tandem of private and public sectors, the importance of the technical cooperation at all levels rather than technical assistance on its own and the crucial need of training and international exposure. He was one of the first exponents of the concept of maritime Malta that eventually evolved into the Malta Maritime Forum.
Mr Michael Callus
Mr Michael CallusCEO & Board Member
Michael Callus was born in 1958 in Malta and started a shipping career in 1976 as an Officer Cadet in Merchant Shipping. After nearly nine years at sea he joined the Operations Department in the Liner Division of Sea Malta Company Limited. After eight years with this company he joined United Arab Shipping as Operations Manager and over a span of 22 years holding various positions of thrust in Malta, Genoa (Italy) and Kuwait he was promoted as Vice President Container Management and based in Dubai, were he was responsible for Container Procurement, Container Operations and Container Maintenance and Repair. During this period he held various Director Positions in the companies’ subsidiaries including Chairmen of UASAC Iberia. He retired from UASC at the end of 2013 and joined Gruppo Investitori Portuali of Genoa Italy as Senior Business Development Manager responsible for Business relationships with company clients and assisting the CEO with company strategy as a consultant. This arrangement was ceased at the end of July 2017 when the company was taken over in a buyout In the meantime since the inception of the Container Owners Association in 2004 he held various positions on the Board for over ten years acting as Chairman, Vice Chairman and Board Member until 2013. He has various business interests in Malta mainly through a Shipping Agency, and a Reefer Technical Repair Company in conjunction with Contrepair of Italy. His main role in his Business is Business Development. Since 2015 he was elected on the BOD of the Malta Maritime Forum with a responsibility for Maritime Education.
Mr Godwin Xerri
Mr Godwin XerriBoard Member
Godwin Xerri is presently the CEO and one of the founding member of Combined Maritime Services Limited which is Malta’s leading multi-disciplinary specialist in maritime consultancy. He is also Managing Director of Focal Maritime Services Co. Ltd and Delta Container Services Ltd as well as Director of In the past, he served as Managing Director of Sea Malta Co. Ltd and as a director on various Boards of corporations and companies including Malta Freeport Corporation, Bank of Valletta International and Tug Malta Co. Ltd. Throughout his career in the maritime and logistics industry he has remained involved in the academic sphere through regular lecturing at the IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) and the Institute of Transport and Logistics as well as through involvement in the UK Chartered Institute of Shipbrokers, of which he is a fellow.
Dr Ann Fenech
Dr Ann FenechBoard Member
Ann Fenech is the Managing Partner of Fenech & Fenech Advocates – Malta. She qualified in 1986 and joined Holman Fenwick and Willan in London.
In 1991 she moved from there to Chaffe, McCall, Phillips Toler and Sarpy in New Orleans. In 1992 she joined Fenech & Fenech Advocates setting up the Marine Litigation Department. She was appointed Managing Partner in June 2008.
She has extensive experience in disputes ranging from ship building contracts to immediate casualty response in collisions having acted and advised some of the most important international maritime operators.
She has been responsible for the drafting of a number of laws related to the maritime sector including the Pilotage Regulations and the sections on Jurisdiction in Rem in the Code of Organisation and Civil Procedure. She lectures extensively on the subject in Malta and abroad; she is the President of the Malta Maritime Law Association. In October 2010 she was appointed an Executive Board Member of the European Maritime Law Organisation. In 2012, 2014 and 2015 she was awarded Best in Shipping Law at the European Women in Business Awards held in London. In October 2013 she was appointed Honorary Patron of the Malta Law Academy and in June 2014 was elected on the Executive Council of the Comite Maritime International (CMI) – the international organisation responsible for drafting the vast majority of international maritime conventions. She was also appointed Chairman of the international working group on ship finance security practices. In October 2015 she was appointed on the Malta Maritime Forum Board of Directors and in April 2016 she was also appointed to represent the Malta Maritime Law Association on the board of the government agency Malta Marittima. In September 2017 she was elected to serve a second term on the Executive Council of the CMI.
Mr Alex Montebello
Mr Alex MontebelloBoard Member
Alex Montebello is the CEO at Malta Freeport Terminals. He started his career at Malta Freeport in 1989 at the time of the Company’s inception and has since then occupied various positions within the Company.
In his early days as an IT Specialist, Alex was responsible for setting up and implementing the Terminal Operating Systems, which were created in-house alongside the Company’s development and expansion. Added to this, Alex has been responsible for the operations of the Terminals, the marketing of the Container Terminals as well as negotiation and management of contracts with the shipping lines resulting in the client mix that has been attracted to the Freeport’s facilities.
Alex serves as board member on the Malta Maritime Forum and heads the Marketing and Internationalisation sub-committee. He is also a member of the Institute of Management and a member of the Institute of Electrical Engineers.
Mr Paul Abela
Mr Paul AbelaBoard Member
Paul Abela is the President of the GRTU Malta Chamber of SMEs, a position he has been successfully occupying since 2007. The GRTU is the oldest and largest employers organisation and social partner registered at law today.
Mr Abela started his working career within the family business, mainly in the importation of grains and cargo haulage. This gave Mr Abela long years of experience in the logistics industry and in the functioning of ports.
Along the years Mr Abela has occupied a number of high-level positions both within the private sector and public boards and fora. Currently Mr Abela occupies the position of board member of the Malta Maritime Forum, is a member of the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development, the Malta Enterprise Board and the Mriehel Central Business District Foundation.
As an individual, Mr Abela is skilled and experienced in business planning and strategy, change management and negotiation.
Ing. Ryan Fava
Ing. Ryan FavaBoard Member
A Mechanical Engineer by profession, Ing. Ryan Fava is currently the President of the Malta Dockers Union. He started his career with Methode Electronics Malta as Manufacturing Engineer in charge of producing conceptual designs, supervising implementation and commissioning assembly lines achieving a very high Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) in the process, by leading and guiding various teams of technicians and engineers. With an eye for detail and commitment towards customer satisfaction, Ryan was promoted to Principal of the Design Automation Department. During his career, Ryan’s portfolio of clients boasted the likes of GM, Ford, Audi, VW and Aston Martin amongst others. In 2009, Ryan joined a fuel sector company responsible for designing, installation, commissioning and certification of fuel filling stations. In 2010, he was in charge of carrying out a national study commissioned by the Malta Resource Authority (MRA) to bring Maltese filling stations in line with regulations governing stages 1b and 2 vapour recovery including a due diligence in cost estimates from various suppliers for pipe work, dispensers, underground storage tanks, interceptors, and other ancillary equipment. In April 2010 aquired a licence as Licenced Portworker and in July 2014 was elected from a general election as shopsteward and President of the Malta Dockers Union were its members are the registered licensed Portworkers being regulated by the Port Ordinance and local legislations. During his term he managed to diversify the team in various portwork with the aspiration to setup this group more professional to perform and excel in their service providing towards the local industry. Ryan obtained a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Hons.) from the University of Malta in 2002 and is certified by the Association a Petroleum and Explosives Administration (APEA). He also obtained a Masters degree in Building Services with Sustainable Energy from Brunel University – London.
Mr Joseph Calleja
Mr Joseph CallejaBoard Member
Joseph Calleja is the General Manager at Palumbo Malta Shipyard Ltd, which makes part of a most extensive Palumbo Group comprising nine locations in the Mediterranean and one in the Atlantic Ocean. Joseph has held this position since 2010, which was the first year of Palumbo operations in Malta. He has contributed for the various achievements that Palumbo Malta Shipyard has accomplished through the years with the latest being the ranking as the 3rd shipyard worldwide in the cruise-ship refitting sector. In 2014 he has been appointed as Director on the Board of Directors of the Company. Joseph graduated from the University of Malta with an Honours Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Chemistry, compiled his thesis in Organic chemistry, furthered his studies in Petroleum products, Asbestos, Shipbuilding-Naval Architecture, LNG/LPG, other gases and oils, Safety and in Environmental Management. An ex – MDD apprentice, with 30years of experience in the sector, Joseph is also AAA certified from the British Occupational Hygiene Society and qualified in the handling of gases and oils, a recognized Competent person by Transport Malta and is also certified by NEBOSH International Board in Occupational Health and Safety and also in Environmental Management. Joseph has participated in a number of seminars and conferences locally and abroad, on both the Maritime sector as a whole and also specifically on Ships’ conversion and repair. Joseph was also involved in extensive projects locally, abroad and offshore. Joseph Calleja has been a Director on the Board of the Malta Maritime Forum since its inception back in 2015.
Mr Jason Bongailas
Mr Jason BongailasBoard Member
Jason Bongailas is Senior Manager at the Malta Marittima Agency. He obtained his Master in Business Administration from the University of Leicester and is member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport. He was involved in the setting up of the Malta Shortsea Promotion Centre (MSPC) and has served as Chairman of the Centre. He has worked with the Authority for Transport in Malta within the Ports and Yachting Directorate and has vast experience in the maritime sector. He was also one of the founding persons of the Malta Maritime Forum.
Capt. Jesmond Mifsud
Capt. Jesmond MifsudBoard Member
Born on the 30th March 1965, Mr. Mifsud received his education at Tal-Virtù Seminary, Rabat, Malta and at The Nautical School, Malta where he obtained a Master License. He became the youngest pilot in Malta at the age of 24 on the 11th December 1989 and continued his Ship Handling Studies at Loodswezen, Port Ravel and City of Glasgow College, Glasgow. Mr. Mifsud worked with O.H. Melling Norwegian Company for 5 years and at the Sea Malta as Navigator Officer for one year. In 2002 he became Chief Pilot and in 2003. Together with his colleagues he founded the Malta Maritime Pilots Co-operative Soc. Ltd. In 2003, the Port Logistics Operations (PLO) in 2008 and the Meditteranean Maritime Research and Training Centre (MMRTC) Soc. Co-op. Ltd. (MCF) in 2011. He is presently president of the 3 entities.
Mr Mario Mizzi
Mr Mario MizziBoard Member
Mario Mizzi is the Chief Executive Officer and Director of Tug Malta Ltd. He is also a director on several Rimorchiatori Riuniti S.p.A Group owned companies operating in the towage sector and shipping in general. Before joining Tug Malta Ltd. he has worked as the Chief Executive Officer of both Malta Investment Management Co. Ltd (MIMCOL) and Malta Government Investments Ltd (MGI) where he was involved in a forefront role in several high profile assignments relating to Government investments engaging him in an advisory and negotiating capacity. Between 2015-2017 he chaired the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors of the European Tug Owners Association (ETA) and during the previous two years he was the Deputy Chairman. Presently he is a member of the Executive Committee of the said Association. Mario is a qualified accountant and has worked on several advisory assignment, particularly in the areas of Transactions and Restructuring having advised local private companies operating in different sectors.
Mr Thomas Sullivan
Mr Thomas SullivanBoard Member
Thomas Sullivan was born on 14th March 1988. Educated at San Anton School in Attard (later Mġarr), Malta, he studied there up to Secondary level, moving on to The Oratory School in Reading, UK where he completed Sixth form in 2007. He then went on to complete his BSc (Hons) Business Degree at the London School of Economics, graduating in 2011.

Thomas entered the shipping industry in 2012, working at Seatrans Shipping Agency, where he is currently involved in business development, enhancing current business while identifying opportunities in new potential markets.

He is known to be a hands-on individual with a flair for problem-solving, bringing his enthusiasm into the equation and attracting the right customers and employees to the company. Constantly attending conferences and seminars allows him to share and use the knowledge he gains with others in the local industry.

Thomas Sullivan was recently appointed a board member of the Association of Ship Agents in the Shipping and Bunkering Section at the Malta Chamber of Commerce. In 2017 Thomas became a member of the IBIA (The International Bunker Industry Association which is the voice of the global bunker industry), and in 2019 was appointed a board member in the Malta Maritime Forum.

Dr Lisa Camilleri
Dr Lisa CamilleriLegal and Research Officer
Dr. Lisa Camilleri is a warranted lawyer and has graduated with a Masters in Advocacy and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Malta. She is currently sitting for a Diploma in Taxation with the Malta Institute of Taxation.
Lisa has been employed as an advocate with MCConsult and Associates, a family run boutique shipping firm, since July 2019. Where she specialises on legal advisory mainly related to corporate services, ship registration and shipping finance.
Lisa was an active student during her time at University. She formed part of the Malta Model United Nations society as well as the Junior Chamber of Advocates Executive Committee. She has taken part in conferences both locally as well as internationally and represented Malta’s student body at the United Nations Head Quarters in New York, related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals back in 2016. During this conference Lisa was also honoured by being asked to deliver a closing speech on behalf of European students at the prestigious United Nations General Assembly Hall. Lisa has also been an active member of the Malta Maritime Law Association for the past 8 years.
In September 2017, Lisa was also accepted as a legal apprentice with the International Chamber of Shipping in London for 3 months, whereby she attended numerous IMO meetings relating to GHG’s, unmanned vessels and others. During this time Lisa also attended internal meetings with ICS legal committee and social policy committee as well as meetings with the UK Chamber.
Lisa was enrolled as the Executive Secretary for the Malta Maritime Forum in January 2016 until February 2019. After the attainment of her warrant and legal education, Lisa’s role evolved into Legal and Research Officer, where she is now mainly responsible for compiling and presenting statistical and empirical research to the Board and preparing MMF’s position on local maritime current affairs, compliance with the VO registry, planning and attendance of local and ad hoc events and any other related responsibilities. Lisa now sits as an observer to the Board and forms part of the Internationalisation, ENMC, MSPC, Blue Economy and Promotion Sub-Committee.
Mrs Judith CiliaAccounts Officer
Ms Karin Grech M.A.
Ms Karin Grech M.A. Executive Secretary
Karin has studied Political Sciences, Constitutional & Socio-Economic History and International Law at the Universities of Bonn (Germany) and Florence (Italy). After her graduation, she worked as a Research Associate and Office Manager at the joint office of two Members of the German Parliament.

In 2000, Karin moved with her family to Malta. She held the position of Policy Research Coordinator at the Housing Authority before she became Research Administration Executive of the Malta Maritime Law Association in May 2010. In addition, she took over the duties of Administration Executive of the Malta Shortsea Promotion Centre in September 2017, which led to her joining the Malta Maritime Forum as Executive Secretary in March 2019.