AAPA elects Mario Cordero as board chairman

Mariocordero 2019headshot
Mario Cordero

(ALEXANDRIA, Va.) — The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) has elected Mario Cordero, executive director of  California’s Port of Long Beach, to serve as the association’s next chairman of the board.

Cordero will be installed as chairman on the final day of AAPA’s 2020 Annual Convention, set for Sept. 13-16 in Quebec City. He will assume the AAPA chairmanship from Gary G. Nelson, executive director of  Washington state’s Port of Grays Harbor, who began his term on Oct. 15, 2019.

“With his vast experience as an attorney, on the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners as a member, vice president and president, as a member and chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, and as executive director of America’s second-busiest container port, Mario Cordero is an outstanding choice for heading our association during the upcoming activity year,” said Chris Connor, AAPA’s president and chief executive officer. “Together with his longstanding active engagement with AAPA and our member ports throughout the hemisphere, Mario’s remarkable skills as a maritime industry leader will be of enormous value as we work together to navigate through and out of the effects of the coronavirus crisis and address other common challenges and legislative priorities.”

After learning the results of the AAPA election, Cordero remarked: “It’s truly an honor to be selected as chairman-elect of the AAPA at a time of tremendous challenges and changes within the goods movement industry. I look forward to collaborating with our organization’s members to focus on long-term growth, economic stability, jobs and sustainability so that we can all move toward a successful future.”

Cordero joined the Port of Long Beach as its executive director in May 2017. He reports to the board and leads the port’s Harbor Department staff of more than 500 with an annual budget of $982 million. During his Board tenure, Cordero spearheaded the development of the pioneering Green Port Policy, which outlines a sustainable environmental ethic for all port operations, mandating that trade growth must run parallel with environmental stewardship. The policy has been nationally recognized and become a model for ports worldwide.

In an effort to help the Long Beach community better understand port operations and how the port benefits the citizens it serves, he also promoted an expanded port community outreach program.

In 2018, Cordero was named AAPA’s vice chairman. He previously served as an AAPA Executive Board member on the Latin American delegation and was instrumental in the development of policy urging greater cooperation and trade between North American and Latin American ports.

A Southern California native, Cordero has practiced law for more than 30 years, specializing in workers’ compensation cases. He’s a past member of the Federal Bar Association’s Central District, the Long Beach Bar Association and former chairman of the Workers Compensation Committees for both the Long Beach Bar Association and the Mexican-American Bar Association for the County of Los Angeles.

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