USC Price School of Public Policy

Former Executive Director for Port of LA Knatz joins USC Price, Viterbi

August 16, 2014
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By Regina Wu

Dr. Geraldine Knatz, former executive director for the Port of Los Angeles, has been appointed as Professor of the Practice of Policy and Engineering at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

“I am looking forward to taking my real-world experiences working in the maritime field to students in the classroom,” said Knatz. “They’ll be able to learn from a practitioner’s point of view and I’m excited to get to know students and see their careers advance.”

Knatz will teach one graduate-level course, Seaport Policy and Management, in Fall 2014 as well as conduct research for the Price School. She is also teaching Environmental and Regulatory Compliance in Spring 2015 and conducting research on port governance and sustainability for USC Viterbi.

“The Price School welcomes Knatz’s considerable contributions not only to our students interested in transportation policy and environmental policy, but also her anticipated contributions to our extensive research in each of these areas,” said Jack H. Knott, Dean of the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. “Her hands-on experience exemplifies the bridge between professional expertise and theoretical knowledge that is a hallmark of the Price School.”

Knatz was the first woman to serve as the executive director for the Port of Los Angeles, the top port by container volume in the United States. Serving from 2006 to 2013, she made many improvements to the port, including implementing the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan, the Green Port Policy, and the Truck Trip Reduction Program. In 2007, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed her to the California Ocean Protection Council, which oversees and coordinates statewide policy for the protection and management of the state’s ocean and coastal resources. Knatz was also appointed to the National Sea Grant College Program Review Panel by the Secretary of Commerce, and served as Chair of the Marine Board of the National Academy of Sciences.

She received numerous honors, including the 2009 Leadership Award from the National Association of Women Business Owners-Los Angeles (NAWBO-LA) and an honorary Ph.D. from the Maine Maritime Academy in 2009. Earlier this year, she was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the highest professional distinction accorded to an engineer.

Knatz received her Master of Science in environmental engineering and her Ph.D. in biological sciences from the University of Southern California. USC Viterbi Dean Yannis C. Yortsos looks forward to her joining the university in her new capacity.

“We are very pleased that Dr. Knatz has returned to join our faculty in both USC Price and USC Viterbi. Her immense experience in sociotechnical management and in environmental engineering will be of tremendous help as she teaches and mentors our students to understand the intersection of engineering, the environment, management and policy ” said Yortsos.