Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Bridget Parish in Seattle for Tom Dowd, a port industry consultant and professor at the University of Washington. Dowd died Friday after a short illness.
Dowd combined a background in naval intelligence and the financial world with a keen interest in academia to help educate students who went on to become executives in the port industry, according to his friend and professional colleague Bob Goodwin.
He served as a U.S. Navy intelligence officer and later launched a successful career as an investment banker. Dowd founded Northwest Securities, where he specialized in public bonds and became interested in the revenue and general obligation bonds that are used to fund port projects.
Dowd returned to school and earned a master’s degree in marine affairs at the University of Washington. He completed his thesis in 1979 and went on to teach at what is now the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs at the University of Washington.
At the same time, Dowd became interested in the Sea Grant program and volunteered to work without pay for the Washington Marine Advisory Services as a port specialist, Goodwin said.
Dowd continued on with one foot in academia, teaching future port executives, and the other foot in the industry, advising ports throughout North America on bond financing programs, Goodwin said. He also earned a credential in seaport management at a ports institute in Hull, England.
Goodwin said the list of students that Dowd taught reads like a Who’s Who in the port industry, with graduates holding executive positions at the ports of Tacoma and Seattle, and in organizations such as the Washington Public Ports Authority and the American Association of Port Authorities.