William P. “Bill” Doyle, who served on the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) under two presidents, has been named executive director of the Maryland Port Administration (MPA).
Doyle will take the helm of the Port of Baltimore and manage its six public marine terminals on July 22.
The office of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Doyle, as an FMC commissioner from 2013 to 2018, “represented the United States in numerous global negotiations and facilitated positive outcomes to disputes among maritime industry and labor groups.”
Doyle also co-chaired maritime trade discussions with China, the European Union, Panama and Greece, the governor’s office said.
During his tenure, Doyle spoke out about the bankruptcy of South Korean container carrier Hanjin Shipping, which he said disrupted the entire maritime industry.
“The August 2016 collapse of Hanjin Shipping was a wake-up call for the entire ocean transportation and logistics chain. Over $14 billion worth of cargo was stranded at sea on 100 ships scattered around the globe,” he said. “It is so important that another Hanjin debacle does not happen again.”
The governor’s office said Doyle was selected by a search committee that fielded applications from around the world.
“With a distinguished career in the maritime industry and international trade spanning nearly three decades, I am confident that Bill Doyle will lead the Port of Baltimore in driving Maryland’s economy forward,” Hogan said in a statement. “Under his leadership, the Port of Baltimore will continue to create jobs and keep the supply chain moving as it has throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Appointed to the FMC by President Barack Obama in 2013, Doyle stepped down in January 2018 to serve as chief executive officer and executive director of the nonprofit Dredging Contractors of America (DCA).
Doyle previously served for more than a decade as an engineer in the U.S. Merchant Marine.
Maryland Transportation Secretary Greg Slater said Doyle’s “experience with major infrastructure projects will prove invaluable as the port continues to work with its private-sector partners and the Baltimore community to deliver generational projects. From global negotiations to working with Congress to fund critical dredging projects, Bill understands all the elements needed to propel the Port of Baltimore to the next level.”
The port handled a record 43.6 million tons of cargo in 2019.
Construction is expected to begin next year to renovate the Howard Street Tunnel in Baltimore to accommodate double-stack container railcars, with completion targeted for 2024. The port said the project will create thousands of construction jobs, plus more jobs to handle the anticipated 100,000 additional containers that could come through the port.
David Thomas has served as acting executive director of the Port of Maryland since January. He previously served as the MPA’s deputy executive director of logistics and port operations. Thomas has been with the MPA since 1999.
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