Ports & Terminals

Leger Elected Chairman Of Port NOLA Board Of Commissioners

The Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans recently selected new officers, electing Walter J. Leger Jr. to serve as board chairman, James J. Carter Jr. as vice chairman and Sharonda R. Williams as secretary-treasurer.

Leger succeeds Joseph F. Toomy, whose nine-month term as chairman ended; Toomy will continue to serve on the board as a commissioner.

A highlight of Toomy’s tenure as chairman was the announcement earlier this year that Port NOLA was awarded $300 million in INFRA and MEGA grants to assist in building the Louisiana International Terminal, the largest federal investment in a new container terminal in U.S. Department of Transportation history.

Additionally, Toomy played a pivotal role in leading gatherings with the port directors and board chairs from five Lower Mississippi River ports in Louisiana to identify more pathways for synchronicity with state leaders to increase international trade. Collectively, the five Lower Mississippi ports make up one of the busiest port complexes in the world.

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“We want to thank Joseph Toomy for his dedicated service as chairman of our board,” said Brandy D. Christian, Port NOLA president and CEO and CEO of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPB). “Joe has brought decades of invaluable experience and exceptional vision that has not only elevated our port’s standing within the industry but has also positively impacted the communities we serve.”

Leger joined the board in July 2020 when he was appointed by then-Gov. John Bel Edwards. Leger serves as the senior partner in the law firm of Leger & Shaw. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Louisiana State University and completed his legal education at Tulane University School of Law, where he graduated with a concentration in maritime law. Early in his career, Leger worked as an admiralty associate at the Phelps Dunbar law firm, and he later formed his own firm dedicated to admiralty and complex litigation, including the Hard Rock Hotel litigation, nationwide opioid litigation, the BP Oil Spill case and the Castano Tobacco litigation. Leger is the past president of the New Orleans Bar Foundation and the New Orleans Bar Association.

He served as chairman of the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation and as a founding Director of GNO Inc.