As the Connecticut Port Authority begins its search for a replacement for Executive Director John Henshaw, who is stepping down, the quasi-public currently overseeing the redevelopment of the New London’s State Pier into an offshore wind hub has tapped the retired vice president of Connecticut College, Ulysses B. Hammond, as its interim executive director.
Connecticut Port Authority Board Chair David Kooris said that Hammond’s experience overseeing human resources, finances and capital projects as vice president of administration at Connecticut College is, “a macrocosm of everything that the authority deals with on a smaller scale.”
“I think he’s very well positioned to help us continue to advance the policy and procedure updates, to fortify our staffing, all the while completing the project at State Pier and other capital initiatives,” Kooris said.
The contract includes a bi-weekly salary equal to an annual salary of $200,000, and includes the benefits of full-time port authority employees, Kooris said. Hammond is expected to serve from May 5, when Henshaw leaves, until the board can hire a permanent replacement.
Hammond spent 15 years as the chief business and operations officer at Connecticut College, overseeing $100 million worth of capital projects. Before that, he served for a decade as the Chief Executive Officer of the District of Columbia Courts.
Hammond told the board on Tuesday that his project management and operational experience makes him comfortable to manage the Port Authority. He said he is also interested in the mission of the Port Authority, to position the state’s deepwater ports to handle large cargo, and in particular for the New London State Pier to handle offshore wind projects.
“I feel really energized about the project, but more importantly, I feel energized about where the project is right now, in terms of what John [Henshaw] has been able to accomplish with licensing and permitting,” Hammond said. “That is just huge to give this project the green light that it has needed for a long, long time to move forward.”
Henshaw joined the Connecticut Port Authority in August 2020 after spending a decade as the head of the Maine Port Authority. He announced in March that he would be stepping down to return to Maine.
Henshaw was originally planning to leave the authority on Thursday, but said on Tuesday that he will stay on through May 5 to help Hammond with the transition. Kooris said Hammond will start working with Henshaw on Wednesday.