(December 7, 2005) -- Saying she "understands my vision that making the Port of L.A. greener is not only right for surrounding communities but right for business," L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has nominated Port of LB Managing Director Geraldine Knatz to serve as the Port of L.A.'s new Executive Director.
In a written release, Mayor Villaraigosa said Ms. Knatz [actually Dr. Knatz, she holds a Ph.D] "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."
The release credits Ms. Knatz as "the principal architect of the green port policy in Long Beach," a policy that some have criticized as lacking an explicit commitment to "no net increase" in pollution. Mayor Villaraigosa's release did not mention the "no net increase" policy of his predecessor, James Hahn. Villaraigosa's release said the appointment of Ms. Knatz "is the capstone to the Mayor's long-term vision for the port."
The release said Mayor Villaraigosa "firmly believes that strong economic commerce and a clean environment are not mutually exclusive" and is "leading an effort -- alongside port officials -- to green the port" with plans including "the conversation 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."
If formally hired by the L.A. Harbor Commission (appointed by Mayor Villaraigosa), Dr. Knatz will become the only woman in the country to serve as a Port Executive Director.
Prior to being the Port of LB's Managing Director, Dr. Knatz was PoLB's Planning Director for 11 years. She earned a Ph.D in Biological Sciences and M.S. in Environmental Engineering from USC and received a B.A. in Zoology from Rutgers University.