After an exhaustive national search, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is recommending Geraldine Knatz to be executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, the largest port in the country

“This is a new day for the Port of Los Angeles,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “Ms. Knatz not only brings vast knowledge of the industry and stellar credentials, but also an assertiveness and high energy that will make the Port of Los Angeles the most desired port for trade in the world.

She understands my vision that making the Port of LA greener is not only right for surrounding communities, but also good business for Los Angeles,” said the Mayor.

As the gateway to the Pacific Rim, the Port of Los Angeles is a critical economic engine for the city, but historically it has been a major contributor to pollution. Mayor Villaraigosa firmly believes that strong economic commerce and a clean environment are not mutually exclusive. The mayor is leading an effort - alongside port offcials—to green the port.

Plans include the conversion of trucks, trains and other vehicles to clean fuels; requiring all new shipping contracts to mandate that visiting ships turn off their diesel engines and use alternative electric power when in the port; requiring the Port to establish a runoff control program to reduce pollutants in harbor waters; and to work in tandem with the communities of San Pedro and Wilmington to develop strong mutually beneficial relationships. The appointment of Ms. Knatz is a capstone to the Mayor’s long-term vision for the port.

Geraldine Knatz is currently Managing Director of the Port of Long Beach, a position she has held since 1999. Ms. Knatz is the principal architect of the green port policy in Long Beach, and she oversees a $2.3 billion capital improvement program. She assesses strategic issues and recommends policy, leading to port initiatives such as the “Truck Trip Reduction Program,” dedicated to reducing traffic and the “Green Port Policy,” an environmental improvement program. Ms. Knatz also oversees 150 employees.

Ms. Knatz’s nomination is historic in that she is the first woman to be appointed Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles. If hired by the harbor commission not only will she go from friendly competitor, but she becomes the only woman in the country to serve as an Executive Director of a major US port.

Prior to being managing director, Ms. Knatz was the planning director for the Port of Long Beach for 11 years. She was responsible for developing land use, transportation and air quality compliance programs, hazardous waste assessment as well as wildlife enhancement projects.

Ms. Knatz received a B.A. in zoology in 1973 from Rutgers University, and an M.S. in environmental engineering in 1979 and a PhD in biological sciences in 1981, both from USC. She also teaches in the civil engineering department at USC. She is married and has two children.