Director of Trade Development

Caraballo DiRuggiero
Marisela Caraballo DiRuggiero is the director of trade development for the Port of Los Angeles, the busiest container port in North America. Appointed to this position in 2019, she oversees the Trade Development Division, ensuring the Port fulfills its mission to connect U.S. businesses throughout America with overseas trade opportunities—particularly exports—through trade promotion workshops that encourage increased trade through the Port of Los Angeles. Trade Connect, the Port’s educational trade outreach program, is tailored to small-and medium-sized businesses dealing with specialized commodities to consider export markets. 
With more than two decades of experience in public policy development, issues management and legislative advocacy, Caraballo DiRuggiero is also responsible for the outreach to professional associations and government agencies to promote specialized business opportunities in key commodity areas, with an emphasis on export cargoes. 
Additionally, Caraballo DiRuggiero oversees the function of intergovernmental relations with foreign governments, advancing the Port’s influence on expanding trade markets, and is the Port’s point person to the international diplomatic community. She has purposefully advanced the Port’s influence on the world stage by negotiating many sister port agreements promoting trade, environmental stewardship, infrastructure development, supply chain efficiencies, and increased security protocols. 

Previously, Caraballo DiRuggiero served as the Port’s director of legislative affairs, where she worked tirelessly to achieve legislative policy wins for the Port, helping to secure more than $350 million in government funding for various Port infrastructure projects ranging from transportation, security, environment, and dredging. Prior to joining the Port in 2002, she worked for a Member of Congress, a California State Senator, and real estate development company.
In addition to her responsibilities at the Port, Caraballo DiRuggiero serves on the boards of the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce California Regional Chapter and Loyola Marymount University Center for International Business Education Advisory Council and is a member of the Wilmington Rotary Club.
As a cum laude graduate of Loyola Marymount University, Caraballo DiRuggiero earned a bachelor of arts in political science with a minor in Spanish literature. She also attended a prestigious scholars program at Oxford University, Queens College.