The PIER Team

Centre for Port Development and Innovation

Captain Allan Gray

President and CEO, Halifax Port Authority

Captain Allan Gray joined the Halifax Port Authority as President and CEO in November of 2019. The Port of Halifax is a diverse, deep-water cargo port handling containerized, bulk, breakbulk and roll-on/roll-off cargo year-round. The Port connects importers and exporters with 150 countries through a wide range of shipping lines, offering the deepest container berths on the eastern seaboard and seamless intermodal connections to major inland markets. Since August 2015, Halifax has been handling some of the largest container vessels operating along the East Coast of North America.

Before his role with the Halifax Port Authority, Captain Gray was previously the General Manager of Fremantle Ports in Australia. He joined Fremantle Ports in July 2006 as Deputy Harbour Master/Manager Marine and Port Operations, was appointed Harbour Master in September 2008, and was appointed General Manager Port Operations in July 2009 including commercial operations and management of the port’s bulk business. Captain Gray was the Federal Master (Board Chairman) for the Company of Master Mariners Australia from 2009-2013 and was awarded life membership for his contribution to raising the profile of the Company. Captain Gray is currently the President of the International Harbour Masters Association.

Prior to coming ashore, Captain Gray’s career at sea spanned over 20 years. During this period, he traded on various vessels from RO-RO, container, and bulk through to the last 10 years which were spent on LPG Tankers with Bergesens of Norway. Trading patterns included Japan/Far East, Europe, Africa, South America and the United States.

Andrew Black Executive Director at The PIER

Andrew Black

Executive Director

Andrew is the Executive Director of The PIER and heads up the innovation agenda for the Port of Halifax, focusing primarily on collaborative initiatives with customers, partners, and stakeholders. Since joining the port in 2015, Andrew has led the launch of a Port Operations Centre, the Terminal Traffic Monitoring System, and has led an information management strategy. More recently he has led a Digital Roadmap, created an innovation framework for the Port. Prior to joining the Port, Andrew worked for a consultancy, working extensively with the Maritime sector. He also worked in marketing, teaching and the provincial government. He studied at Mount Allison University and then did a teaching degree at the University College of London. He is an avid lover of performing arts and is heavily involved in his community.

Sarah Rector, Member Services at The PIER

Sarah Rector

Membership Coordinator

Sarah grew up in Bible Hill outside Truro, Nova Scotia. She studied at Mount Saint Vincent University, receiving her Bachelor of Public Relations in 2016. Sarah started working at the Halifax Port Authority in 2015 as the Communications Coordinator for the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market (HSFM) as her final Co-op term. She currently shares her time with The PIER as the Membership Coordinator and at the HSFM as the Vendor Relations and Communication Coordinator. When Sarah is not working, she bakes sweet treats and loves taking photos of flowers, fresh produce, animals, and landscape.

Rebecca MacDonald, Administration at The PIER

Rebecca MacDonald


Rebecca grew up in Porters Lake, Nova Scotia. She studied American Sign Language and English Interpretation at the Nova Scotia Community College. After working as an Educational Interpreter, Rebecca was hired as a Customer Service Representative at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market (HSFM), then took on the Market Specialist role. Rebecca now has a dual role as the Administration Coordinator for the HSFM and The PIER. In her free time, Rebecca enjoys playing the piano, singing, writing, and drawing cartoons.

Nada Halaweh, Communications/Programming Coordinator at The PIER

Nada Halaweh

Communications/Programming Coordinator

Nada is originally from Palestine, and grew up in Kuwait, Charlotte, North Carolina and Chicago, Illinois. She studied Nutrition in Public Health at UC Davis, California and Public Relations and Marketing at Mount Saint Vincent University. Before The PIER, Nada supported the National Connector Program and Halifax’s labour market, facilitating the career growth of immigrants and international students. Outside of work Nada’s passion lies in playing sports, cooking, and dancing.