Thais Howard returns to Port of Tacoma as director of engineering

Thais Howard has rejoined the Port of Tacoma Aug. 3 to lead the engineering team for her second tenure at the helm.

Howard originally joined the Port in 2007 as project manager. She was promoted to director of engineering in 2013, becoming the first woman and person of color to lead the department. Howard left the Port in September 2016.

For the past four years, Howard served as the senior electrical engineer and project manager at Labella Associates in Buffalo, New York.

Howard brings more than 25 years of experience in engineering. During her time at the Port, Howard managed the upgrades related to the Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC) program, which requires a federal ID card to access secure marine terminals. The $13.2 million project included upgrading and replacing security cameras, installing the supporting fiber infrastructure and installing an access control system to comply with the federal Department of Homeland Security program.

Before joining the Port, Howard worked for GLE Associates and the Walter Fedy Group in Florida, Williams-Sonoma in Tennessee, Westinghouse Electric Company in Utah and Tennessee Valley Authority.

Howard will be responsible for directing the activities of the Port’s engineering department, which also supports The Northwest Seaport Alliance. The Port’s engineering team is responsible for the design and construction of new and modified port facilities, including repairs.

Howard holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Clemson University. She is a licensed professional engineer in New York, Washington, Florida and Tennessee.

About the Port of Tacoma

The Port of Tacoma is an economic engine for South Puget Sound. More than 29,000 jobs are generated by port activity, which also provides $195 million per year in state and local taxes to support education, roads and police and fire protection for our community. As a partner in The Northwest Seaport Alliance, the Port of Tacoma is also a major cargo gateway to Asia and Alaska.

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