SAN PEDRO, Calif. — February 19, 2008 — Ralph Hicks, a former top official with the San Diego Unified Port District who has broad experience in urban redevelopment projects, has been named to the newly created post of Director of Economic Development for the Port of Los Angeles.

Hicks will help shape a variety of crucial development projects at the Port that will leave a lasting legacy of increased business, employment and training opportunities, as well as community-oriented, waterfront redevelopment. The latter will include the San Pedro Waterfront Project, which will create enhanced public access and open space together with a variety of development opportunities throughout 400 acres of Port property.

“The San Pedro and Wilmington waterfront projects demonstrate the Port’s commitment to enhancing the surrounding communities with redevelopment that’s not only attractive and people-oriented, but improves residents’ quality of life,” said Kathryn McDermott, Deputy Executive Director of Business Development for the Port of Los Angeles. “Ralph Hicks will help us ensure that community residents are true partners with the Port in making these projects a reality. We’re delighted to have him.”

Hicks spent 17 years at the San Diego Unified Port District, where he was named Director of Land Use and Planning in 1997. Known for his collaborative approach, he was the team leader for master-planning San Diego Bay redevelopment, and led several complex urban redevelopment efforts, including the North and South Embarcadero redevelopment and Chula Vista’s bay-front master plan.

Hicks has received awards for community outreach and strategic planning initiatives, and believes in providing better government through community involvement and transparent decision-making. He received his bachelor’s degree in Law and Society from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and his J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law.

The Port of Los Angeles, also known as “America’s Port,” has a strong commitment to developing innovative strategic and sustainable operations that benefit the economy and the quality of life for the region and the nation it serves. A recipient of numerous environmental awards, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2007 Clean Air Excellence Award, the Port of Los Angeles is committed to innovating cleaner, greener ways of doing business. As the leading seaport in North America in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates 919,000 regional jobs and $39.1 billion in annual wages and tax revenues. A proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port is self-supporting and does not receive taxpayer dollars. The Port of Los Angeles - A cleaner port. A brighter future.