Meet Milwaukee’s Future Municipal Port Director

From international trade to tourist cruise ships, there’s a lot to manage at Port Milwaukee.

Jackie Q. Carter has been selected by Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson to serve as Municipal Port Director. Pending Common Council approval, Carter would be the first women and person of color to serve in this role, according to a news release from City of Milwaukee. 

Carter would direct commercial and recreational operations at Port Milwaukee, oversee a staff of 20 people and administer Foreign Trade Zone No. 41, which is designed to facilitate international trade and increase the global competitiveness of U.S.-based companies.

She would replace Adam Tindall-Schlicht, who departed in October for a post in President Joe Biden’s administration, where he serves as administrator of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, an operating administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Under Tindall-Schlicht, Port Milwaukee experience major growth in cruise ship dockings at the port



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Carter has served as interim director since Tindall-Schlicht’s departure.

A lifelong resident of Milwaukee, Carter has worked in the local non-profit and public sector for more than 20 years. She previously served as the port’s finance and administration officer, a role in which she provided oversight of all port business operations, including its financial, human resource and administrative functions.

“I am honored to select Jackie Q. Carter for this historic appointment to lead Milwaukee’s port,” Johnson said in a statement. “After listening to applicants with expertise from around the world, Jackie is simply the best choice to carry out the port’s mission of promoting commerce and supporting the local economy. I am confident Jackie will accelerate the excellent work underway at Port Milwaukee.”

Port Milwaukee is an economic entity of the Milwaukee city government governed by the seven-member Board of Harbor Commissioners, a panel appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the Common Council. It administers operations on the 467 acres that make up the port. It promotes shipping and commerce throughout the region by providing access to domestic and international ships, rail and over-the-road transportation.



Rich Rovito is a freelance writer for Milwaukee Magazine.