The Port of Portland, Oregon has released the names of three finalists to take up the position of outgoing executive director Bill Wyatt, who will retire on June 30.
An advisory panel composed of four commissioners and four community representatives selected the final list, which includes Jonathan Daniels, the executive director and CEO of the Mississippi State Port Authority; Stephanie Dawson, the acting chief operating officer of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey; and Curtis Robinhold, deputy executive director of the Port of Portland.
Daniels oversees the Port of Gulfport, Mississippi, the third-busiest container port on the Gulf Coast, and previously worked at the Port of Oswego, New York and the Port of Baton Rouge.
Dawson has worked for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey since 1995, and as acting COO she holds responsibility for the operations of the agency’s eight marine terminals, three major airports, four bridges and one rail line, among other assets. She is a former Army logistics officer, a veteran of the response to the 9/11 attacks and of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
Robinhold has served as the Port of Portland's deputy executive director since 2014, a position that gives him responsibility for most of the authority's day-to-day operations. Like outgoing director Bill Wyatt, he served as a staff member for Governor John Kitzhaber before coming to the port, and Wyatt is said to favor his candidacy.
The port is accepting public comments until April 24, and will vote on a final selection on May 23.
The winning contender will have pressing issues to handle when he or she takes office. The port's sole container terminal has not had a container shipping service since last year, forcing agricultural shippers to send their goods overland to Seattle or Tacoma for export. In addition, the port will have to manage its share of a Superfund environmental remediation plan on the Willamette River that could cost stakeholders as much as $1.8 billion – an amount that the agency recently described as "staggering."