The MMF’s Organisation is made up of a Chairperson, CEO, and 14 Board Members

The Chairperson

Mr Godwin Xerri
Mr Godwin XerriChairperson

Godwin Xerri is the CEO and one of the founding members of Combined Maritime Services Limited, 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 and 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.

In April 2023, Godwin Xerri was appointed Chairman of the Malta Maritime Forum. In May 2023, he became the first Maltese to be elected Chairman of the Worldwide Ship Agencies Association (WWSA) – an influential organisation on a global level based in Antwerp. Godwin Xerri has contributed several specialised features in local and foreign fora and publications.

The Vice Chairperson

Mr Alex Montebello
Mr Alex MontebelloVice Chairperson

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.<br />

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 Kevin J. Borg
Mr Kevin J. BorgCEO

Kevin is an experienced professional with almost 25 years of experience in leadership of the business community in Malta having occupied the position of Director-General of The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry until 2020. In this position, Kevin has already served the maritime community particularly those engaged in shipping, yachting, bunkering, ship repair, and registration.
Having graduated in Economics from the University of Malta in 1994, Kevin worked briefly as an Economics Officer within the Economic Planning Division in the Ministry of Finance before joining the Chamber of Commerce in 1997.
Kevin has represented the Malta Chamber in conferences and in the media as well as on a number of national boards including the MCESD, the MEUSAC Core Group, Education Malta, the Malta Business Bureau, the Retail Price Index Board besides BusinessEurope and Eurochambres at the European level. During his time at the Chamber, Kevin was actively involved in the EU accession preparations for Malta as well as in the merger process with the Federation of Industry which took place in 2009. Kevin has always been held in high respect by his team and all the stakeholders he has connected with throughout his career including businesses, political leaders, and social partners
Kevin brings with him to the Malta Maritime Forum a wealth of knowledge, experience, and contacts accumulated in his career.

The Board Members

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.<br />
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.

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.

Ms Miriam Camilleri
Ms Miriam CamilleriBoard Member

Miriam is an ardent lover of books, art, music and the theatre and a keen follower of international tennis. Within the constraints of her busy schedule she is an avid walker. She looks back with nostalgia at her own experience completing the demanding Camino de Santiago de Compostela.<br />
Her professional passion is transport, particularly maritime transport. She has been involved in the transport industry for almost forty years. Her first brush with the maritime industry was as a young child at the shipyard run by her father. It was an inquisitiveness and experience that was eventually to develop into a deep commitment and involvement. This notwithstanding, her early years were with the national airline to become the first female load control officer. After more than ten years the sea claimed her back.<br />
Her first years ‘at sea’ were on the Administration side familiarising herself with the international and national regulatory aspect, particularly affairs of the International Maritime Organisation. She formed part of the team within the maritime administration that was to revolutionise Malta’s maritime legal infrastructure and marketing strategy. This revolution led to Malta becoming one of the foremost international maritime registers in the world. Miriam represented Malta at IMO meetings and a number of marketing initiatives, including the one that launched the concept of Maritime Malta. Today she participates at meetings of Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and the Social Affairs Committee within the European Community Shipowners’ Association.

Crossing over to the private sector she had a couple of years stint in Greece acquiring her first close insight of the international shipping sector. In 2001 Miriam set up MCConsult providing services in the main to the ever increasing number of shipowners and financiers attracted to the Malta flag. She is a licensed company service provider while the core mission of MCConsult is to provide to an international clientele legal and administrative representation related, in the main, to corporate affairs (as Miriam Camilleri), ship registration and financing and, crew certification under Maltese law. Miriam is a firm believer that one of Malta’s and also her company’s strengths is the ability to deliver an efficient and personalised service. To this day, true to her words, together with her staff she ardently puts into practice her company’s motto that she developed, Proud To Be Of Service.<br />
Forty years later down the line, Miriam is still actively involved in what had long been the focus of her professional life. Today, Miriam shares the intensity of her involvement with her daughter, not surprisingly, a maritime lawyer. Of course transport is still deeply ingrained in her and, the allure of the maritime industry is not easy to resist. Miriam remains an active member of a number of organisations such as the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, the Chamber of SME’s and, is a board member of the Malta Maritime Forum.

Ms Camilleri has been a member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, C.I.L.T. (U.K.) for over thirty years and since 2016 she chairs the Malta Branch of the Institute. Until recently she was also the Vice President of the Malta Maritime Law Association. Ms Camilleri is the local Malta representative of the Korean Register of Shipping, an internationally recognised classification society. Proudly she is also the Honorary Consul for Georgia.

Capt. John M. Dalli
Capt. John M. DalliBoard Member

Capt. John M. Dalli is president of the Malta Mooring Masters Cooperative Ltd., with over 45 years of experience in the Maritime industry. He started his career in 1976 as an officer cadet at Sea Malta while pursuing an education at the Maltese Nautical School; he advanced through the ranks to graduate as Master Mariner from Warsash Maritime Academy in Southampton. Captain Dalli served as master in command of various merchant vessels, employed on international voyages, for 11 years.

He later joined the pilotage sector, becoming a founding member of the Malta Maritime Pilots (MMP), playing a role in restructuring pilotage to become a co-operative society. During his time as a pilot, Capt. Dalli was the international representative for the MMP in EMPA and IMPA as delegate, subsequently being elected as Senior Vice President of the European Maritime Pilots Association (EMPA) for two consecutive terms. In this role, Capt. Dalli chaired the technical advancement and training committee within EMPA.

Towards the end of his 22 year career as a harbour pilot, Capt. Dalli co-founded Malta Mooring Masters Cooperative Ltd. together with a number of highly skilled maritime professionals, specializing in offshore services.<br />
Capt. Dalli holds a Master’s degree in International Law from the University of Malta and has worked with several international operators within the fields of oil pollution, ship to ship transfer, salvage and maritime safety.

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.

Dr Ann Fenech
Dr Ann FenechBoard Member

Ann Fenech is the head of the marine litigation department at Fenech & Fenech Advocates and the past Managing Partner of the firm having occupied the position of Managing partner from 2008 to 2020. She qualified in 1986 and joined Holman Fenwick and Willan in London. From there she moved to Chaffe McCall Phillips Toler and Sarpy in New Orleans. On joining Fenech & Fenech in 1992, she created the marine litigation department. She has dealt exclusively with maritime issues for the past 36 years ranging from salvage to charterparty disputes and from towage to enforcement of mortgages. She lectures at the University of Malta and the International Maritime Law Institute and is a regular guest speaker at overseas maritime fora. She was the President of the Malta Maritime Law Association from 2008-2022 and is a board member of the European Maritime Law Organisation since 2008. In 2012, 2014 and 2015 she was awarded Best in Shipping Law at the European Women in Business Law Awards held in London. From 2000 to 2010 she was the Chairman of the Pilotage Board and responsible for the drafting of the Pilotage Regulations 2003. In 2013 she was appointed Honorary Patron of the Malta Law Academy. In 2014 she was elected to the Executive Council of the Comite Maritime International (CMI). She was one of the founding members of the Malta Maritime Forum in 2015. She was the co-Chair of the CMI international working group on the International Effects of Judicial Sales of Ships and CMI Co-Ordinator of the project at UNCITRAL leading to the approval of the Commission of the Draft Convention on the international effects of judicial sales of ships in June 2022. In November 2018 she was elected Vice President of the CMI and re-elected to the same position for a second term in 2021. She was elected President of the CMI during the General Assembly of the CMI held in Antwerp on Friday 21st October 2022. She is the first female to occupy this position in the 125 year history of the CMI.

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 Lino Vassallo
Mr Lino VassalloBoard Member

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 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.

Mr Stephen Xuereb
Mr Stephen XuerebBoard Member

Stephen Xuereb, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Accountants and a Henley MBA graduate, was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Global Ports Holding in August 2016. He has been involved in the cruise industry since 2002, serving as Chief Finance Officer of Valletta Cruise Port plc between 2002 and 2014, and subsequently appointed as Chief Executive Officer in 2014, a position he still occupies as of today. In his role as Chief Operating Officer of the largest independent cruise port operator worldwide, Global Ports Holding plc, Xuereb is responsible for the overall performance of the 19 ports, across its portfolio in 13 countries across four continents. Xuereb has over 26 years senior management experience, 18 of which in the cruise industry. Previous to that he occupied posts in the audit and financial advisory sectors as well in the retail, property and hospitality industries.

MMF Staff Members

Ms Judith Cilia
Ms Judith CiliaMMF Accountant

Judith Cilia is a certified public accountant and registered auditor. She graduated from the University of Malta with a bachelor of commerce in 1993 and an accountancy degree in 1995. She obtained the warrant of a certified public accountant in 1998 and that of a registered auditor in 1999.

She worked with one of the big audit firms in Malta for three years as an audit senior in charge of audit assignments, covering various economic sectors. She then worked as a senior accountant in a local shipping company and in 2002 took the role of financial controller at Focal Maritime Services Company Limited.

In 2004, she set up her own practice performing accounting, consultancy, taxation and auditing services to a number of clients.

Judith is a member of the Malta Institute of Accountants and sits on the board of directors of a number of companies.

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.</p>
<p>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.