Deputy Sector Commander 

Guardians of the Southwest

Commander Ellen M. Motoi

Commander Ellen Motoi assumed the duties of Deputy Sector Commander, San Diego in June 2023. As the alternate Captain of the Port and second in command, she is responsible for leading maritime operations to ensure the safety, security, law enforcement, and environmental protection from the U.S. – Mexico Maritime Border north to Dana Point, CA to 200 nautical miles offshore, and east to the Colorado River, and inland navigable lakes of Arizona and southern areas of Utah and Nevada. 

Prior to arriving in San Diego, Commander Motoi served as the Chief of the Policy and Standards Division in the Office of Maritime Law Enforcement at U.S. Headquarters. In this role, she was responsible for assessing, reviewing, and implementing Coast Guard maritime law enforcement policy.     

Commander Motoi hails from Staten Island, NY. After graduating from the Coast Guard Academy in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management, she served aboard USCGC NORTHLAND as an Engineering Officer in Training followed by an assignment on USCGC MUNRO as Weapons Officer. After serving as Operations Officer on USCGC ALERT in 2011, Commander Motoi attended post graduate school at the University of Rhode Island where she studied Marine Affairs. Following the completion of her Master’s degree, Commander Motoi reported to Coast Guard District One in Boston, MA as the fisheries officer and helped enforce 20 state/federal fishery management plans with a $13 billion regional economic impact. In 2016, she was assigned to Sector San Diego as the Regional Coordinating Mechanism (ReCoM) Coordinator. The San Diego ReCoM is a body of local, state, and federal partners who share information, resources, and leverage agency authorities and jurisdictions to collaboratively stem illicit trafficking flows within the San Diego area of responsibility. In 2018, Commander Motoi served as the Enforcement Chief at Sector San Diego where she managed law enforcement operations along the U.S./Mexico boundary line.  

Download Bio