Share story

Port of Seattle executive Kurt Beckett was promoted Tuesday to deputy chief executive officer, which will allow Port CEO Tay Yoshitani to focus entirely on business development, policy issues and attracting new shipping lines and air services to Seattle.

Beckett joined the port in 2007 as director of external affairs after working for U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell and Congressman Norm Dicks. He has served as Yoshitani’s chief of staff since 2010 and will direct the port’s public affairs, organizational performance, small business development, social responsibility, law enforcement and capital development teams.

Yoshitani will continue to directly oversee Sea-Tac International Airport, the port’s maritime cargo and cruise business, and its real estate holdings. He will continue to manage the port’s finances and budget and work closely with the Port Commission on internal audit matters.

“We’re facing stiff competition from ports throughout North America,” Yoshitani said in a release. “Most of the cargo we attract could easily call at another seaport. We also see enormous potential for international passenger growth at Sea-Tac.”

This fall, Yoshitani will become chairman of the American Association of Port Authorities, an unpaid position in which he will advocate for a national freight mobility strategy and investments in transportation infrastructure.

Melissa Allison: 206-464-3312 or Twitter @AllisonSeattle.