Rear Admiral Thomas Ostebo speaks to Juneau Chamber of Commerce

Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo addresses the Juneau Chamber of Commerce in 2011. He’ll soon head up the cruise industry’s trade group. (KTOO file photo)

Alaska’s former top U.S. Coast Guard official will soon head up the world’s largest cruise-industry trade group.

Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo takes over July 6 as CEO of the Cruise Lines International Association.

Ostebo served as commander of the Coast Guard’s 17th District from 2011 to 2014. The district includes all of Alaska.

The Coast Guard oversees federal laws and regulations relating to the cruise industry.

Ostebo spent the past year as the agency’s strategic management director, based at its Washington, D.C., headquarters. The cruise association’s main office is also in the nation’s capital.

It’s a major force in maritime lobbying, representing more than 60 cruise lines, including most of those sailing Alaska waters.

Ostebo will oversee the association’s 15 worldwide offices, including one in Alaska.

He was Alaska Coast Guard commander when co-pilot Lt. Lance Leone was punished for his role in a 2010 helicopter crash in Washington state that killed three people. All were from the Sitka air station.