New & Notable: Paul Matthews

Executive Director | Port of South Louisiana

This past January, Paul Matthews made waves in the maritime industry when he became the first African-American head of the Port of South Louisiana

For 10 years, Paul Matthews’ work in the maritime industry — which most recently included serving as deputy director for the Port of Plaquemines —has prepared him to lead the Port of South Louisiana into the future. For Matthews, that means wasting no time in bringing the second largest port in the country and the leader in grain export the recognition it deserves.

“We’re going 100 miles per hour on purpose,” he said. “We’ve been looking at being aggressive, being strategic, and being focused, and as a result we will be successful. The port is going to be out there — it’s not going to stay on the sidelines.”

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Matthews said his team is currently focused on agriculture, infrastructure, energy transition and monitoring world events that have lasting impacts on the ports in Louisiana. Those include the war in Ukraine, as well as the expansion of the Panama Canal, which could bring more business and larger ships to the port, leading to more jobs.

“We want to be aggressive to get projects done,” said Matthews. “We have to have a regional focus for our ports, and for the industry, so that we can be successful and put the state of Louisiana and the Mississippi River on the map.”


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