USC Price School of Public Policy

Geraldine Knatz

Professor of the Practice of Policy and Engineering

Curriculum Vitae

Ph.D. in Biological Sciences

University of Southern California


Seaport policy and management, maritime transportation, international trade, seaport sustainability, environmental impact analysis

Biographical sketch

Geraldine Knatz is Professor of the Practice of Policy and Engineering, a joint appointment between the USC Price School of Public Policy and the Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. At the Price School, Dr. Knatz will teach as well as conduct research in affiliation with the METRANS Transportation Center.

Dr. Knatz served as the executive director of the Port of Los Angeles from 2006 to January 2014. She was the first woman to serve in this role and made a significant impact through the creation and implementation of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan, an aggressive plan that reduced air emissions by combined port operations of over 70 percent over five years. The Clean Air Action Plan is recognized around the world for its innovation and success.

Prior to directing the Port of Los Angeles, Dr. Knatz was the managing director of the Port of Long Beach where she also led a number of environmental initiatives, including the Green Port Policy and Truck Trip Reduction Program.

Dr. Knatz is a past and present member of several boards. She is a past member of the Viterbi School of Engineering Board of Councilors, past president of the American Association of Port Authorities and past president of the International Association of Ports and Harbors, and currently serves as the Chairman of the World Port Climate Initiative. She serves as Gov. Brown’s appointee on the Ocean Protection Council.

Internationally recognized for her accomplishments, Dr. Knatz has received numerous awards, including Outstanding Women in Transportation (Journal of Commerce, 2007), Woman Executive of the Year (Los Angeles Business Journal, 2007), Compass Award (Women’s Leadership Exchange, 2008), honorary PhD, Maine Maritime Academy (2009), and the Peter Benchley Ocean Award (Blue Frontier Campaign, 2012). In 2014, she was named a member of the National Academy of Engineering in recognition of her international leadership in the engineering and development of environmentally clean urban seaports. And in 2016, she won the Bruckman Award for Excellence in a book about Los Angeles — presented by the Los Angeles Public Library in recognition of Terminal Island: Lost Communities of Los Angeles Harbor, which Dr. Knatz co-authored.