Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Port of Portland Picks New Executive Director

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Portland Commission said May 23 that it has selected Curtis Robinhold as the next executive director for the Port of Portland. Robinhold, currently Portland’s deputy executive director, will replace outgoing Executive Director Bill Wyatt, who’s retiring on June 30.

“Our goal was to find an experienced, well-rounded candidate to lead the port into the future,” Port Commission President Jim Carter explained about the selection. “We were looking for someone with demonstrated skills in stakeholder engagement, consensus building, business acumen and team development, and believe Curtis met all our goals for the search and the new executive director.”

Robinhold was hired as deputy executive director in December 2013. It was a newly-created position at the time, the job was never announced by the port and no search to fill it was conducted. Wyatt told The Oregonian newspaper during the time of Robinhold’s appointment that the hiring was part of a long-term succession plan.

The Port Commission’s process earlier this year for selecting the new executive director included initial interviews by an advisory group, which consisted of representatives from labor, the environmental and business communities. The group recommended three final candidates to the Commission – Robinhold, as well as Jonathan Daniels, the executive director and CEO for the Mississippi State Port Authority, and Stephanie Dawson, the chief operation officer for the Port Authority of New York, New Jersey. On May 10, the Commission interviewed them before the final selection was made May 23.

Wyatt announced his retirement in mid-January. He was first chosen to lead the port in 2001 and he began work just weeks after the September 11 attacks. Prior to that, he served as chief of staff to former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber for seven years.

Robinhold was Kitzhaber’s chief of staff from 2011 until being hired by the port in late 2013.