Port of Gulfport names new CEO & Executive Director

Published 1:50 am Sunday, April 4, 2021

(Gulfport, Miss.) – The Mississippi State Port Authority (MSPA) Board of Commissioners has named Jon Nass the new CEO and Executive Director of the Port of Gulfport, following a national search led by Tim McNamara, Head of Odgers Berndtson’s Transportation and Infrastructure Practice in Washington, D.C.

“After nearly an eight-month process, the MSPA Commission is very pleased to announce we have selected a new executive director to lead the Port of Gulfport team,” said MSPA President E.J. Roberts. “Jon’s extensive background includes port management, economic development, homeland security and policy advising, making him an ideal candidate to lead our State Port.”

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Jon comes from the Maine Port Authority where he helped develop Northern New England’s only container terminal and secured tens of millions of dollars in funding for port and rail infrastructure. He also led efforts on a public-private partnership to construct Maine’s only publicly available climate-controlled storage, supporting the state’s food and beverage industries.

“I am thrilled to join the Port of Gulfport as its next CEO and Executive Director, leading what is an outstanding organization with an experienced Board of Commissioners, a dedicated team, modern infrastructure, and a diversified revenue base,” said Jon Nass. “The MSPA’s commitment to promoting economic development for the region—through the movement of freight, capturing the enormous potential of the blue economy, promoting workforce development, and being a responsible member of the community—all attracted me to this position. I look forward to getting to work.”

In addition to Jon’s port experience, he was the Deputy Commissioner at the Maine Department of Transportation, worked as a senior policy advisor in the State of Maine Governor’s Office, and served seven years in the U.S. Congress, most recently as counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security. Jon also served on a U.S. Department of State Provincial Reconstruction Team as a field officer embedded in a U.S. Army infantry battalion operating in the city of Baqubah, Iraq.

Jon’s tentative start date at the Port of Gulfport is June 1, 2021.