Jackie Q. Carter Named New Port Director
Carter would set many firsts if confirmed by council.
Jackie Q. Carter is poised to break a color barrier and shatter a glass ceiling as the new director of Port Milwaukee.
Mayor Cavalier Johnson nominated Carter to serve as the city’s next municipal port director. If confirmed by the Common Council, Carter would be the first female and first person of color to hold the job. The 467-acre, city-owned port oversees everything from docking ocean-going freighters to managing Summerfest-parent Milwaukee World Festival, Inc‘s lease of the Henry Maier Festival Park.
That work includes the construction of an agricultural export facility that is the largest one-time port investment since the 1950s, a new cruise ship terminal planned for a 2023 groundbreaking and a multi-jurisdictional, multi-year effort to perform a several-hundred-million dollar environmental remediation on Milwaukee waterways to remove the federal “area of concern” designation.
Carter has worked her way up through the ranks by earning various finance roles since starting work at the City Treasurer’s Office in 2007. Since 2017, she’s served as the port’s finance and administration officer. She became acting port director following Adam Tindall-Schlicht‘s October 2022 resignation. Tindall-Schlicht routinely praised Carter’s work to the Harbor Commission, which oversees port operations.
She would lead a city department that has a $6.4 million budget and 35 authorized positions in 2023. The position, according to the 2023 budget, pays $109,096.
Tindall-Schlicht was appointed by President Joe Biden to serve as administrator of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (GLS). He had served as port director since 2018. The GLS is responsible for the United States portion of the seaway, which connects the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean via a system of locks, canals and rivers along the border of the U.S. and Canada. Ocean-going ships calling on Milwaukee, known as “salties,” use the 370-mile system to access the Great Lakes.
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