NEW BEDFORD  — Just eight months after taking on the role, New Bedford Port Authority Executive Director Justin Poulsen has announced he will be stepping down in April.

The New Bedford Port Authority noted in a statement on Monday that Poulsen is making the move "in order to attend to pressing family matters that require him to relocate from New Bedford."

He will remain in his position through April 15, but the port authority board will begin the search for a new executive director immediately, according to the statement.

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Poulsen informed the board of his decision last week.

“This is certainly an excruciating decision, but one that prioritizes the health and well-being of my family, who have been out of the country for several months now,” he said.

“It has been an immense honor to serve as steward of the Port of New Bedford, and I am genuinely grateful for the warm welcome the community has shown me in my short time here."

He added that he's proud of what the organization has achieved during his tenure and noted the port of New Bedford is "poised to capture transformational opportunities."

Poulsen was named to the Executive Director job in July 2021.

He had previously worked as Vice President and Executive Director of PortNYC.

“I’m disappointed that Justin will be leaving the Port Authority, as he had made considerable progress in building the organization’s institutional capacity even in his brief tenure,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said.

“I respect his decision to attend to the needs of his family, and I wish him all the best. The Authority’s Board of Commissioners will move forward without delay to recruit his replacement.”

The New Bedford Port Authority is charged with the management and economic development of the city's port, including all city-owned waterfront property such as the city wharves and Pope's Island marina.

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