International Registries Inc. and Founding Chairman of NAMEPA (North American Marine Environment Protection Association)
Clay was born in London (a U.S. citizen from birth) in 1942, and has worked in the shipping industry since graduation from law school in 1968.
Clay has been employed by International Registries, Inc., for over 30 years and is now a managing partner of the company, which administers the Marshall Islands Ship Registry - the fourth largest registry in the world. He is President of the Trust Company of the Marshall Islands (TCMI), the statutory Maritime Administrator of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Prior to the year 2000, Clay held similar positions with regard to the maritime administration of the Republic of Liberia.
He was admitted to the New York State Bar in June, 1969, having graduated from Columbia College and New York Law School, and was associated with the New York law firm of Burlingham, Underwood & Lord and Union Carbide Corporation before joining the predecessor of International Registries in 1976. Clay has served as a legal advisor to the Liberian and Marshall Islands delegations at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and a number of international conferences on maritime law, including: Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims (LLMC), London, 1976; United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Conditions for Registrations of Ships, Geneva, 1976-1986); Carriage of Goods by Sea, Hamburg, 1978; United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, 1976-1983; United Nations Conference on Maritime Liens and Ship Mortgages, Geneva, 1993; United Nations (IMO) Conference on the ISPS Code, London, 2002; Conference and Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW), London, 1995; UN Conference on the Fish Stocks Agreement, New York, 1994. He has been a delegate at the Legal Committee of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) intermittently from 1980. Clay is co-author of Bareboat Charter Registration: Legal Issues and Commercial Benefits, published by the International Chamber of Commerce (Paris).
Among his other affiliations: Director of the Coast Guard Foundation; former Chairman of the National Maritime Historical Society; former Chair of the Admiralty Committee of the New York City Bar Association, and of the Committee on Intergovernmental Organizations of the Maritime Law Association of the United States (MLA); Member of the American Bureau of Shipping, and of the National Cargo Bureau; Founding Chairman of the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA); Convenor of the North American Maritime Ministry Association (NAMMA), Industry Advisory Board; Member of the Board of the New York Seamen's Church Institute; Member, American Bar Association, New York City Bar Association and Maritime Law Association of the United States.
Clay received the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters from the State University of New York Maritime College in 2006.