Leadership Team

John Wolfe, Chief Executive Officer

John Wolfe, CEO, The Northwest Seaport Alliance

John Wolfe is chief executive officer of The Northwest Seaport Alliance. He sets the organization’s vision and strategy, and guides the NWSA’s unique customer-focused culture.

Wolfe previously served as the CEO of the Port of Tacoma, a position he was named to in 2010.

Prior to joining the Port of Tacoma, Wolfe served for two years as the executive director of the Port of Olympia, and before that as Olympia's director of operations and marine terminal general manager.

Wolfe also spent 10 years with Maersk Sealand/APM Terminals in Tacoma, most recently as the terminal's operations manager.

He is on the boards of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), Executive Council for a Greater Tacoma, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce, the Washington State Fair Board, Federal Maritime Commission’s Export Innovation Team and Maritime Innovation Advisory Council for the Department of Commerce. Wolfe is also an executive board member of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County.

Wolfe earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Pacific Lutheran University.

2019 NWSA CEO Goals and Expectations

Don Esterbrook, Deputy CEO

Don Esterbrook

Don Esterbrook is the deputy CEO leading the commercial and operations groups.

He has nearly 30 years of maritime industry experience, with 15 years in senior leadership.

Before joining the NWSAEsterbrook spent the past three years as the Port of Tacoma’s chief operating officer and deputy CEO, where he oversaw the Port’s operations, maintenance, security, labor relations and asset management. He was hired by the Port of Tacoma in 2010 as the chief commercial officer, a new position created to more closely align the Port’s operations, commercial lines of business, and real estate and asset management.

Esterbrook’s past experience also includes 16 years with Orient Overseas Container Line, most recently as regional sales director for nine western states. His other OOCL roles included president and general manager of operations in the Philippines, director of business development for the company’s Cargo Smart organization and regional sales manager for the Pacific Northwest region.

He is on the board for the Tacoma Waterfront Association. 

Esterbrook holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a computer science minor, from Pacific Lutheran University.

Tong Zhu, Chief Commercial Officer & Chief Strategy Officer

Tong Zhu

Tong Zhu Tong oversees the organization’s commercial team, including the alliance’s cargo and real estate businesses, marketing and research.

Zhu most recently served as the chief commercial officer at the Port of Tacoma since 2010. She joined the Port of Tacoma in 2007. As chief commercial officer, she managed the activities of the Port’s diversified business portfolio, including container, non‐container (breakbulk and RoRo), intermodal and real estate. She also oversaw the marketing, research and customer outreach activities of the Port’s business development teams.

Before joining the Port of Tacoma, Zhu managed international relations at the Port of Seattle and directed the State of Washington’s greater China trade development programs. With the state, she played a critical role in former Gov. Gary Locke’s successful China trade development programs and helped advance and finalize business contracts and international agreements.

A cum laude graduate of the University of Washington Tacoma with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Zhu is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Business Society.

She serves on the Executive Committee of the Washington State China Relations Council, and the Boards of Directors of the Japan America Society of the State of Washington and the Evergreen Building Products Association.