Deputy Executive Director of  Development

Dina Aryan-Zahlan
Dina Aryan-Zahlan serves as Deputy Executive Director of Development for the Port of Los Angeles, the nation’s busiest container port. Appointed to the Port’s leadership team in 2023, Aryan-Zahlan oversees more than 400 employees in the Construction, Construction and Maintenance, and Engineering divisions.
Aryan-Zahlan most recently served as Chief Harbor Engineer of Engineering. Appointed that position in 2022, Aryan-Zahlan oversaw the day-to-day activities of the Engineering Division and was responsible for the planning and design of a wide variety of port infrastructure and facilities that support the diverse operations of the port complex. Aryan-Zahlan spearheaded several critical port development projects, from an infrastructure program for Port Electrification and Zero-Emission for Port facilities and terminals to Public Access Investment for neighboring harbor communities. Over the course of 18 months, the Port’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) grew from over $980 million to over $2 billion.
A dedicated public servant with more than 30 years of experience as an engineer, Aryan-Zahlan first joined the City of Los Angeles as Civil Engineering Assistant with the Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Engineering Harbor District in San Pedro. There, she gained a strong background in engineering design on a variety of public works improvements including streets, storm drains, wastewater, and private development programs. 
Aryan-Zahlan joined the Port of Los Angeles as a Construction Manager in 2000, then promoted to Harbor Engineer-Chief of Design in 2003, and again to Assistant Chief Harbor Engineer in 2015. For the past two decades, Aryan-Zahlan has oversaw the planning, development and design of infrastructure and facilities, including wharves, terminals, rail, roadways, waterfront development including the Port’s Transportation Program, Terminal Development Program and LA Waterfront Program, which represent more than $2 billion in combined infrastructure improvements.
During her tenure at the Port, Aryan-Zahlan has been pivotal in the transformation of cargo terminals, transportation improvements and waterfront development projects. From 2008 to 2022, she led the Port’s LA Waterfront development team and has played a key role in the Port’s public access infrastructure development program. Thanks to her efforts, pedestrians, cyclists and visitors to the LA Waterfront have experienced improved connectivity and access to the San Pedro and Wilmington Waterfronts and the California Coastal Trail. 
Under her leadership, the Port developed the 2003 Port-wide Transportation Master Plan resulting in transportation projects, including the I-110/SR-47 Connector and John S. Gibson Ramps Improvements, I-110 Freeway/C Street Ramps and South Wilmington Grade Separation. She also led the team that planned and designed the modernization of the TraPac container terminal, the first of its kind in the nation. 
Aryan-Zahlan obtained her Bachelor of Science in civil engineering and Executive Master of Leadership degree from the University of Southern California. She is a registered civil engineer in the State of California, certified Project Management Professional® and Senior Certified Professional from the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM-SCP). She serves as director-at-large of the Los Angeles Chapter of Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS-LA) and is an active member of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), American Public Works Association (APWA) and Project Management Institute (PMI). 
In November 2022, Aryan-Zahlan was named WTS-LA 2022 Woman of the Year. The award recognizes a female leader in the transportation field who has made an outstanding contribution to the industry, and directly contributed to the advancement of women and minorities through programs or opportunities in the transportation field.