Ed Anthes-Washburn is leaving his job as director of the the New Bedford Port Authority for a position in the private sector.

Washburn is joining Crowley Maritime as director of business development for the Northeast and for the company's work in the offshore wind space. Crowley is a U.S.-owned and operated logistics, government, marine and energy solutions company headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, the firm's website states.

"I'm incredibly excited," Washburn said. "Crowley's maritime knowledge and shipping capacity is second-to-none." He said he won't be moving, and can work for Crowley from New Bedford.

Washburn has been with the port authority for 11 years, six of those years as director. He said moving on is "bittersweet" but that he's convinced his new position will help him continue to support the city and the port.

Washburn said Crowley already operates vessels within the Jones Act trade in the Gulf Coast and the Northwest. He said in the Northeast, Crowley will develop business relationship as it grows its shipping and logistics presence within the maritime economy.

Mayor Jon Mitchell on Thursday praised Washburn, saying under his leadership, the former Harbor Development Commission was rebranded as the New Bedford Port Authority and set on a good path with a clear strategic plan, vastly improved finances, and a stronger national reputation.

“I am grateful to Ed for his leadership of the Port these last six years, which was marked by major accomplishments," Mitchell said. "The Port is in the midst of a modernization initiative the likes of which we have not witnessed in over fifty years, with hundreds of millions of dollars of infrastructure improvements."

Washburn will stay involved with the New Bedford Ocean Cluster, a business network that serves as a clearinghouse for interaction in the ocean economy. The Ocean Cluster works to leverage the port’s infrastructure and maritime know-how, and works to attract investment in the region's ocean economy.

Mitchell repeated his oft-heard refrain that the Port of New Bedford is "the primary economic engine of Southeastern Massachusetts" and said the port is well-positioned to accommodate more commercial fishing, offshore wind and other maritime industries.

George Krikorian, the Port of New Bedford's finance director,  was named interim director at the Port Authority commission's meeting on Thursday night. Washburn will stay on until the end of January.

"It's been a great, great ride," Washburn said to the commissioners. "I'm going to miss you guys."

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