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News Release
FOR RELEASE - October 17, 2018
Contact: Aaron Ellis, Public Affairs Director,
(703) 684-5700

American Association of Port Authorities
Phone: (202) 792-4033

American Association of Port Authorities CEO Kurt J. Nagle Announces Plan to Retire in 2019

Kurt J. Nagle, AAPA President and CEO

Kurt J. Nagle, long-time president & chief executive officer of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) … the unified and recognized voice of America’s seaports … announced today that he will be retiring from the association next fall, following more than 33 years of service to the port industry.  

Mr. Nagle began his work at AAPA in 1985 as the membership services director, following seven years at the National Coal Association and Coal Exporters Association.  In 1995, he was appointed AAPA’s president & CEO, a position he has held for 23 years.  Mr. Nagle has been with AAPA for almost a third of the association’s 106-year history.

“It’s been an honor to serve the public ports in the Western Hemisphere and a privilege to work with so many dedicated professionals,” said Mr. Nagle. “This industry is blessed with professionals willing to share their experiences and lessons-learned with their colleagues, and to collaborate on common challenges and policy issues.  This positive and beneficial culture, along with the wonderful professional staff here at AAPA, have made it a pleasure to be a part of this great industry.”

AAPA’s immediate past chairman of the board, Steven M. Cernak, chief executive and port director at Port Everglades, lauded Mr. Nagle’s AAPA leadership and service to the hemisphere's ports. Mr. Cernak stated: “We’ve been extremely fortunate to have Kurt lead our association these past 23 years. The association, its services to the port industry, as well as its profile and advocacy, have grown exponentially during Kurt’s tenure. He’s been adept at keeping a very diverse hemispheric industry unified, which has been vital to the overall well-being of our member ports and critical to advancing the priorities for the association's U.S. members in Washington, D.C.”

At AAPA’s annual convention in Valparaiso, Chile, last week, Mr. Cernak passed the gavel to AAPA’s new chairman of the board, William D. Friedman, president & chief executive officer at the Port of Cleveland.

“Kurt will be sorely missed, but he will leave behind a lasting legacy and a long list of achievements of immense benefit,” said Mr. Friedman. “Over the years, Kurt has developed and led a strong and stable headquarters staff, and has the association well positioned to carry on its valued services to our membership and the port industry.”

Mr. Friedman indicated that the process to identify Mr. Nagle’s successor will begin immediately, with the goal to ensure a smooth transition and continuity of the work of the association on behalf of the public port industry.

About AAPA
Founded in 1912 and recognized as the unified voice of seaports in the Americas, AAPA today represents 140 of the leading seaport authorities in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean and more than 250 sustaining and associate members, firms and individuals with an interest in seaports. According to IHS Markit’s World Trade Service, combined international sea trade moving through Western Hemisphere ports in 2016 totaled 3.49 billion metric tons in volume and US$3.01 trillion in value. Of that total, ports in Central and South America handled 1.71 billion metric tons of cargo valued at US$941 billion, while North American ports handled 1.79 billion metric tons of goods, valued at US$2.07 trillion. To meet the growing demand for trade, the AAPA and its members are committed to keeping seaports navigable, secure and sustainable.  For more information, visit On Twitter:


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