Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D., Executive Director
In January 2006, Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D., became the first female executive director of the Port of Los Angeles. She oversees the daily operations and internal management of the nation’s number one container port.
Moving the Port of Los Angeles forward with an agenda that focuses on responsible Port growth and environmental leadership is an aggressive goal that Dr. Knatz has tackled from day one. Accommodating the Port’s future growth involves reducing air emissions, eliminating health risks and expanding capital development programs, all top priorities of the Port under the leadership of Dr. Knatz.
Dr. Knatz was instrumental in the creation and implementation of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan to which has reduced port-related Sulfur Oxide, Diesel Particulate Matter and Nitrogen Oxide emission levels by 76%, 71% and 51% (respectively) between 2005 and 2011. Her efforts facilitated the first joint meeting of the leaders of the two ports since the 1920s and the first ever public meeting of the two Port Boards on the day the Plan was approved. Since then, the Plan has paved the way for the Los Angeles Harbor Commission to approve three major container terminal expansion projects and a new deep-draft marine oil terminal on Pier 400.
Dr. Knatz previously served as managing director of the neighboring Port of Long Beach. As the number two executive at the Port of Long Beach, she oversaw a $2.3 billion capital improvement program and spearheaded a number of environmental initiatives, including development of the Green Port Policy. While her impressive tenure at the Port of Long Beach spans two decades, Dr. Knatz began her maritime career as an environmental scientist at the Port of Los Angeles in 1977.
A proud alumna of the University of Southern California, where she also served as a faculty member in the Viterbi School of Engineering, Dr. Knatz earned two degrees from USC: a doctorate in biological science and a Master of Science in environmental engineering. She also holds an undergraduate degree in zoology from Rutgers University. Born and raised in New Jersey, Dr. Knatz resides in Long Beach with her husband and two sons.
Dr. Knatz’s take-charge attitude and relentless energy in making “green growth” a top priority at the Port of Los Angeles was a central topic chronicled in America’s Port, the 2008 National Geographic Channel television series about the Port of Los Angeles. Her other recent appointments and accomplishments include:
- 2011-2013 President, International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH)
- Recipient of the Blue Frontier Campaign’s 2012 Peter Benchley Ocean Award for “Excellence in Solutions”
- 2009-2011 First Vice President, IAPH
- 2008-2009 Chairman of the Board, American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA)
- Chair, IAPH World Ports Climate Initiative (2008-current)
- Chair, IAPH Port Environment Committee (1997-2009)
- Representative, IAPH, International maritime treaties at the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (1997-current)
- Member, AAPA Executive Committee
- Public Trustee, Academy of Coast Ocean Port and Navigation Engineering, American Society of Civil Engineers (2009)
- Appointed to a three-year term on the Eno Transportation Foundation Board of Advisors (2008)
- Appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to the California Ocean Protection Council, which oversees and coordinates statewide policy for the protection and management of California's ocean and coastal resources (June 2007)
- Recipient of the 2009 Leadership Award, National Association of Women Business Owners-Los Angeles (NAWBO-LA)
- Recipient of the Volunteers of America’s 2009 Friendship Award
- Recipient of the Compass Award, Women’s Leadership Exchange, West Coast Summit (2008)
- Listed among Newsmakers and Most Influential in the California Fashion Industry by California Apparel News magazine (December 2008)
- Named Woman Executive of the Year by the Los Angeles Business Journal (May 2007)
- Named one of the “Outstanding Women in Transportation” by the Journal of Commerce (2007)
- Named to Los Angeles magazine’s “Power List” of L.A. Influentials (December 2006)
- Named one of “The West 100,” Los Angeles Times Magazine’s list of the most powerful people in Southern California (August 2006)
- Member, Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority Board of Directors
- Member, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Science Advisory Board (2006-2009)
- National Associate, National Research Council, National Academies
- Past Chair, National Academy of Sciences Marine Board
- Past Chair, National Sea Grant College Program Review Panel appointed by the Secretary of Commerce
- Past Vice-Chairman, California Ocean Science Trust