Jamal Sowell is Port Tampa Bay’s Director of Special Projects, directly advising President and CEO Paul Anderson and the executive team with management oversight. In his capacity he serves as a liaison for the Port on business, government and real estate matters. Jamal works closely with local, state and federal leaders to represent Port Tampa Bay.


He served as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, including combat operations in Afghanistan. Jamal enlisted as a Private First Class in the Marine Corps Reserve eventually serving on active duty as an officer. As an officer, he was a battalion assistant operations officer (S-3A), company executive officer, tank detachment officer in charge, platoon commander, anti-terrorism force protection officer, electronic warfare officer, and a martial arts instructor.


For several years, Jamal worked as Special Assistant to the President of the University of Florida (UF) and Assistant Corporate Secretary to the UF Board of Trustees. He supported the UF president in overseeing a $4.6 billion budget and gave strategic advice to the president and the board of trustees. In this role, he directed university initiatives pertaining to elected officials, faculty, staff, students, and economic development. During this time, he assisted the president with the addition of Texas A&M and the University of Missouri to the Southeastern Athletic Conference.

Jamal received his bachelors from UF while serving as the UF Student Body President, University Trustee, member of Florida Blue Key, and was selected for the UF Hall of Fame. He also obtained a master’s degree in higher education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, while working at Amherst College. He graduated with a doctor of jurisprudence as a Pat Tillman scholar from Indiana University Bloomington Maurer School of Law, while working for United States Senator Todd Young (then-congressman). In law school, Jamal was an editor for the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy Symposium, worked in Israel for Shurat HaDin, and served as a state board appointee of Indiana Governor Mike Pence. Jamal is a 6th generation Floridian and proud monthly donor to his parents’ alma mater, Florida A&M University.