Karras Consulting, an Olympia-based executive recruitment firm, has been hired to lead the Port of Olympia’s search for a new executive director, the port recently announced. At its Aug. 13 meeting, the port’s commission unanimously approved the hire and the maximum budget for the recruitment process — $50,000.

The port’s previous executive director, Ed Galligan, was placed on administrative leave in April. Since Galligan’s departure, the port’s airport director Rudy Rudolph has been serving as interim executive director.

The search process will occur in three phases, according to a statement released by the Port of Olympia.

The first phase will take place during August and September, and includes reaching out to community partners and designing the job announcement and work plan. The second phase, which will be completed in September, includes recruiting, screening, and evaluating candidates. The third phase is expected to wrap up by the end of November and includes interviewing semi-finalists, selecting final candidates, hosting a community forum, and finally, selecting a new executive director.