of five Federal Maritime chiefs. of five Federal Maritime chiefs.

William Doyle calls his new federal post a natural transition from his youth.

The 43-year-old Spring Garden Township Democrat was recently nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be one of five commissioners overseeing the Federal Maritime Commission -- an agency responsible for regulating trade and commerce at U.S. ports.

"It's a great honor to be nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate," he said.

Doyle will replace commissioner Joe Brennan, a former governor of Maine.

Following some formal paperwork, Doyle expects to begin working in his new role this week.

Serving as a commissioner will be a logical extension of his life's work, he said.

"I've been dealing with ships most of life," Doyle said.

Experience: Growing up in the seaside community of Weymouth, Mass., Doyle was no stranger to sailing or shipyards. After graduating from Weymouth North High School in 1987, he studied engineering at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Upon graduating from the maritime academy in 1992, he joined the U.S. Merchant Marine as an officer from 1992 to 2002. During that time, he studied law at Widener University's Harrisburg campus.

His previous professional leadership experience includes work as the director of permits, scheduling and compliance with the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects. In that role, he represented the U.S. as a lead negotiator for energy trade issues.

For the past two years, he has served as chief of staff for the Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association.

Doyle's career has well prepared him for his new job, he said.

Duties: As a federal maritime commissioner, he will be focused on helping fulfill Obama's National Export Initiative -- a goal shared during the president's 2010 State of the Union address that is designed to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014 and support millions of American jobs.

"Safety, too, is always a concern. We want vessels to be safe when they're coming into our ports," Doyle said.

The new commissioner will continue to reside in Spring Garden Township, where he lives with his wife, Amy, and children Lillian, 6, Billy, 4, and Catherine, 2.

For the last 10 years, Doyle has commuted from York County to Washington, D.C., so the new role won't cause many changes in his travel habits, he said.

He doesn't have a lot of free time, but the little he has is spent with family, in the pool and gym at the Jewish Community Center, or hitting golf balls at the York Country Club.

"I'm really looking forward to the new job and getting into the swing of things," Doyle said.

-- Candy Woodall can also be reached at