Massport official picked to head New Bedford Port Authority

Carr hired as offshore wind starts to transform harbor

GORDON CARR, the deputy director of real estate strategy and policy at the Massachusetts Port Authority, is going to work next month as the executive director of the New Bedford Port Authority.

New Bedford is already one of the nation’s top fishing ports and it is emerging as a hub for offshore wind development. Vineyard Wind, the nation’s first industrial-scale offshore wind farm, is using the state-owned marine commerce terminal in New Bedford Harbor as the staging site for its project.

Several sections of the port are also being redeveloped  — Foss Maritime is openinga major terminal on the former Sprague/Eversource waterfront site and the port authority is redeveloping North Terminal, a section of the waterfront in the upper harbor to support the offshore wind and fishing industries.

New Bedford officials said a recent study indicated the port generates more than $11 billion in annual economic activity and supports more than 6,700 jobs.

Carr is taking over from Justin Poulsen, who left in April for family reasons after eight months on the job. Carr was offered the job on Tuesday by the Port Authority Commission, which is chaired by Mayor Jon Mitchell, who appoints the other members subject to the approval of the City Council.

“Gordon’s extensive experience in maritime and economic development issues make him an ideal fit for this position,” Mitchell said. “Gordon’s deep familiarity with New Bedford will enable him to help continue the port’s momentum right from the start.”

Carr has worked at Massport for the last seven years. According to the press release announcing his appointment, he was active in dealing with maritime industrial/seafood interests and freight networks and led an in-depth study on the future of Boston’s seafood cluster.

Before joining Massport, Carr ran his own economic development consulting firm, and in that role he was hired from 2014 to 2015 to do an assessment of the New Bedford Economic Development Council and the Harbor Development Commission.

Carr also worked for the Massachusetts Office of Business Development and was the first director of the regional southeast office in New Bedford in the mid-1990s.