Storms, Flooding & Sea Level Defense Conference 2020
National Stategies

Niels Aalund
President International Propeller Club & Senior Vice President Maritime Affairs
West Gulf Maritime Association

Niels Aalund is the International President of the Propeller Club. Aalund serves as an Officer and as Senior Vice-President, West Gulf Maritime Association, with primary responsibility for advocating on behalf of member companies (stevedores, steamship agents, vessel owners, and industry stakeholders) with local, state and federal agencies. From organizations such as Washington, D.C, based, National Maritime Association, to the commercial sector, Aalund has provided leadership for a variety of maritime related positions. He has extensive strategic planning experience in both operations and commercial maritime activities. Including management positions overseeing liner, break-bulk and stevedoring groups. 

Arvind Acharya
President, San Francisco Post, Society of American Military Engineers
Sr. Project Executive, Gilbane Building Company

Mr. Acharya currently serves as the President of the Society of American Military Engineers, San Francisco Post and coordinates programs and events locally with a focus towards security and infrastructure resiliency and related challenges. Mr. Acharya is an experienced Project Executive with Gilbane Building Company with over 28 years in managing large-scale multi-project contracts that involves Environmental and Civil infrastructure construction activities. He has managed varied regional and national contracts with several federal agencies including the US Navy, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Air Force, Department of Energy and GSA.

Jeroen Aerts
Director, VU University of Amsterdam, Department of Water and Climate Risk

Jeroen Aerts

Trained as a hydrologist, Jeroen Aerts has an established internationally recognized leading position in the field of coastal flood risk management. After conducting a PhD in risk assessment and decision support techniques at UC Santa Barbara and UvA, Jeroen started working at the VU University in Amsterdam. At the VU, he is currently head of  the department ‘Water and Climate Risk’ within the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), the oldest multidisciplinary environmental research institute in the Netherlands. From 2015 to 2020, Jeroen Aerts was the director of IVM. He has published over 220 peer reviewed publications, with 21 key publications in Nature, Science and PNAS. In 2020, he was awarded as the top 1% highly cited researcher globally, by Web of Science. He works in close collaboration with MIT, Stevens Institute, Princeton, Wharton, Columbia University, Texas A&M and UCSB.

Jeroen’s work focuses on assessing risk from coastal flooding using advanced modeling tools, combining storm surge models with socio-economic impact models. The key results are risk projections into the future, showing how flood risk  projections change assuming different trends in sea level rise, climate change, and socio-economic growth. The risk projections are used to develop flood adaptation strategies for coastal cities and ports to reduce (future-)flood risk. Key in this approach is a participatory approach where stakeholders provide feedback to risk projections and potential solutions.

Jeroen is scientific coordinator of the Connecting Delta Cities initiative under the Clinton C-40 global cities network, and Co-authored the OECD report on Water Security. His international work also includes research with Munich RE, Red Cross and UNDRR. Jeroen was advisor to Mayor Bloomberg of New York City on flood risk resilience issues, before and in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. He has conducted sea level rise and risk assessment studies in multiple port cities such as: New York City, Los Angeles/ Long Beach, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, Shanghai, Houston-Galveston, Rotterdam. Jeroen won the best paper award of the Journal of Risk Analysis in 2012 and 2013. He also won the Lloyds science of Risk prize in 2014, for his paper on flood risk in New York City, published in Science.

Brad Benson
Waterfront Resilience Program Director, Port of San Francisco

Brad Benson joined the Port of San Francisco in 2005. As the Waterfront Resilience Program Director, he oversees the Waterfront Resilience Program efforts, including the up to $5 billion Embarcadero Seawall Program and the United States Army Corps of Engineers/Port of San Francisco Flood Study.

Before he was named Waterfront Resilience Program Director in early 2019, he was Director of Special Projects and oversaw the Port’s local, state, and federal legislative program.  During this time, Benson developed the state legislation that guides two of the Port’s largest development projects at Pier 70 and Mission Rock.  Additionally, he developed the state and local legislation that allows the Port to form infrastructure financing districts on Port property, to leverage private dollars for the benefit of the public. He collaborated in the preparation of the Port’s Ten Year Capital Plan to ensure an economically stable Port. Moreover, he managed the Port’s role in the Golden State Warriors Chase Center development project in the central waterfront. In addition to Director of Special Projects, he also served as the Port’s Pier 70 Waterfront Site Project Director to oversee a new proposed transit-oriented, Type 1 Eco-District neighborhood in the southern waterfront. 

From 2010-13, Brad served as the Port’s project manager for the 34th America’s Cup, that attracted millions of visitors and generated $1.4 billion in economic impacts to San Francisco.

Matthijs Bos MSc
Consultant Flood Risk Management / Product Owner Global Flood Risk Tool

Matthijs Bos is consultant Flood risk management at Royal HaskoningDHV. He is specialized in flood risk assessments and the design of flood risk reduction measures.  The social urgency of flood safety and strategic thinking about an appropriate solution are major drivers for his work as an adviser. That their solutions are being built, confirms for him the relevance of the work. He has a broad international profile and travelled a lot over the world. For some periods of times he has been working and staying in Singapore, Manila, Jakarta, Colombo, Hanoi, Banjul, London, Dublin and New Orleans to work on flood adaptation and create safe living environments.

Over the past four years he has been the lead flood risk consultant for the Port of Rotterdam. Together with the port authority they assessed the current and future flood risk and prepared adaptation strategies to reduce the expected flood risks for the entire Port of Rotterdam. Meanwhile he is developing the Global Flood Risk Tool (GFRT) that enables an efficient and clever way of working to get to the desired adaptation strategies for his clients. The GFRT is Royal HaskoningDHV’s cloud-based platform that delivers accurate and comprehensible flood risk analysis and recommends investment proposals to reduce risk on losing lives and economic damages. Clients making use of the tool are: port authorities, government real estate agency, private industrial clients, dutch waterboards, international financial institutes and local governments. GFRT conducts a thorough flood risk assessment and delivers a set of customized solutions if the identified flood risk is considered significant. The output is generated instantly, and the tool is set up in such a way that it can easily connect to, integrate or exchange with other services, tools and models.

Jorge Chavez
Assistant Director of Ports, The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey

Jorge Chavez is the Assistant Director, Capital and Port Planning, of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Port Department, responsible for the oversight of the planning, development, management, and delivery of the department’s Capital and Operating Major Work Programs by providing technical assistance and project support for the development of new and the expansion and rehabilitation of existing facilities. Mr. Chavez is a 25-year professional in the Engineering and Construction Industry in both the private and public sector. 

Mr. Chavez began his Port Authority career in 2001. He has held various roles of increasing responsibilities over the past 19 years in the Engineering, Project Management, Aviation and PortDepartments. During his time in Aviation, Mr. Chavez managed the construction of new taxiways and the reconstruction of two runways at John F. Kennedy International Airport in order to extend their service life and comply with current runway safety standards, as well as the installation of high speed taxiways to get aircrafts off runways more efficiently and to reduce delays. In 2016, Mr. Chavez became the Senior Engineer of Projects for the Engineering Department. In that role, he was responsible for the oversight of engineering teams, comprised of both Port Authority staff and representatives from consultant firms, supporting the Sandy Recovery portfolio which was comprised of over $2.6 billion in grant-funded projects. He was promoted to his present position in 2018.

Mr. Chavez is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) Mr. Chavez received a Bachelor of Science of Civil Engineering from NYU Tandon School of Engineering (former Polytechnic University). He is also a licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.) in the State of New York and a certified Project Management Professional (P.M.P.) by the Project Management Institute.

Derek Chow
Deputy Director, Hawaii Harbors Division

Derek Chow

Derek J. Chow is the Deputy Director, Department of Transportation – Harbors Division, State of Hawaii.  He oversees the operations, maintenance, improvements, and modernizations of the Hawaii Harbor System that includes 10 commercial harbors throughout Hawaii.  Over 98% of all imported goods consumed in Hawaii are shipped through the Hawaii Harbor System.  Over 80% of the goods consumed throughout the Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States are also shipped through the Hawaii Harbor System.

Prior positions included: Senior Project Manager, SSFM International, Inc.; Chief of the Civil & Public Works Branch, USACE Honolulu District; Chief of the Water & Infrastructure Division, US Forces-Afghanistan; Resident Engineer, Forward Operating Base Danger, Tikrit, Iraq; Project Manager and Planner, USACE Seattle District; Master Planner, US Army Garrison, Hawaii; Contract Administration, USACE Japan District; Project Manager, Seattle Water Department; and Operations Manager, Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission.

Derek’s awards include the Bronze De Fleury Medal for service to the Army Engineer Regiment, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award, and other leadership awards during his 30 years with USACE.  He is a graduate of the USACE Leadership Development Program and US Coast Guard Leadership Development Program.
Derek is originally from Honolulu, Hawaii.  He received his Civil Engineering degree from Seattle University, and Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Hawaii.

Derek has one daughter Erin who is a register nurse.

Brandy D. Christian
President and CEO of the Port of New Orleans, CEO of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad
brandy.christian@portnola.com

Brandy D. Christian is the President and CEO of the Port of New Orleans and the CEO of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, a shortline connecting railroad strategically aligned with the Port. The two public agencies have combined revenues of $100 million, nearly 500 employees, and more than $200 million in capital projects. In her Port role, Christian oversees all cargo, cruise, and industrial real estate operations. As the CEO of the Public Belt, she sets strategic direction and oversees all rail holdings.

Christian serves on the Green Marine Board of Directors, Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council, Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank Trade and Transportation Advisory Council, Louisiana Board of International Commerce, the World Trade Center of New Orleans Board of Directors, the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors and on the Cruise Committee for the American Association of Port Authorities.

Before joining Port NOLA, Christian served 14 years with the Port of San Diego as vice president of strategy and business development.

Sarah Colasurdo
Senior Climate Resilience Specialist, Port Authority of New York & New Jersey 

Sarah Colasurdo is the Senior Climate Resilience Specialist at the Port Authority of NY and NJ. Prior to her tenure at PANYNJ, she held positions in long-term disaster recovery and resilience planning, FEMA grants management, and climate resilience education. Sarah developed long-term disaster recovery and resilience plans in the wakes of natural disasters in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, New York, and New Jersey. As part of the Engineering Department’s Resilience & Sustainable Design unit, Sarah strives to incorporate risk management strategies into the design of the PA’s diverse portfolio of assets from aviation and transit to tunnels and ports, and to push the boundaries of resilience planning and design for large-scale infrastructure systems. Sarah holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Geoscience and a Master’s in City Planning.

Lieutenant Colonel John D. Cunningham 
San Francisco District Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 

Lieutenant Colonel John Cunningham received his U.S. Army commission in 2002 and has served in leadership and staff positions in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Republic of Korea and multiple locations in the United States. Between 2003 and 2007, he was a platoon leader, executive officer and battalion logistics officer with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. From 2007 to 2009, he commanded two companies within the 1st Special Troops Battalion, at Fort Campbell and while deployed to Iraq. From 2012 to 2014, Lt. Col. Cunningham was an instructor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, before transferring to the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, where he served from 2014 to 2015 as the division engineer officer (forward) and counter-IED officer in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He continued with the 1st Cavalry Division, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 91st Engineer Bn. from 2015 to 2016 as the executive officer, including a rotational deployment to the Republic of Korea. 

Lt. Col. Cunningham’s most recent assignment was serving as the deputy commander of the Portland District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 2017-2019. During that time, Lt. Col. Cunningham supported several disaster response missions, including as the Deputy Commander for Task Force Power Restoration in Puerto Rico and later as the Commander for Task Force Puerto Rico Recovery from July to August 2018 supporting the recovery mission after Hurricane Maria. He also served as the Acting Deputy Division Commander for Northwestern Division of the US Army Corps of Engineers from May to July 2018. 

Lt. Col. Cunningham was born in Houston, Texas. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a Master of Science degree in Power Systems Engineering from the University of Texas. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is a certified Project Manager Professional. His military education includes the Engineer Officer Basic Course, Engineer Captain’s Career Course, Command and General Staff College, US Army Airborne School, Ranger School, and Air Assault School. His military awards and decorations include three Bronze Star medals, three Meritorious Service medals, three Army Commendation medals, and two Military Outstanding Volunteer Service medals. 

He is married and has six children. 

Mario Cordero
Executive Director, Port of Long Beach, California

Mario Cordero, an international maritime industry leader, Long Beach resident and attorney, is Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach, California, named to the post by the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners in May 2017.

Beginning in 2003, Mr. Cordero served as a member, vice president and president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners for eight years, before resigning to accept President Barack Obama’s appointment to the Federal Maritime Commission in 2011. He served on the FMC until May 2017 and was FMC Chairman from April 2013 to January 2017. 

As Executive Director, Mr. Cordero reports to the Board and leads the Port’s Harbor Department staff of more than 500 with an annual budget of $650 million in fiscal year 2020. 

Mr. Cordero has practiced law for more than 30 years, specializing in workers’ compensation cases. He holds a law degree from the University of Santa Clara, and a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from California State University, Long Beach. He taught Political Science at Long Beach City College, served on the City of Long Beach Community Development Commission, and was Vice-Chair of the Long Beach Ethics Task Force. Mr. Cordero was elected Chairman of the Board for the American Association of Port Authorities in 2020 following a term as Vice Chairman. 

Meri Davlasheridze
Assistant professor, department of Marine and Coastal Environmental Science, Texas A&M University at Galveston

Dr. Meri Davlasheridze is an assistant professor at the department of Marine and Coastal Environmental Science, Texas A&M University at Galveston. She holds her PhD degree in Agricultural, Environmental, and Regional Economics from the Pennsylvania State University. Her research involves understanding economic and health impacts of disasters, evaluating effectiveness of federal disaster policies in promoting community disaster resilience, and developing market incentives for private catastrophe insurance. She currently serves as a PI for the project funded by the Texas Department of Insurance to study market incentives for catastrophe windstorm and hail insurance. She has led an economic component of the project funded by the Texas General Land Office on understanding economic ripple effects of storm surge for Galveston bay communities. She serves as a co-PI on a NSF funded multidisciplinary research project  “Coastal Flood Risk Reduction Program: Integrated, multi-scale approaches for understanding how to reduce vulnerability to damaging events.” She has published numerous research articles in leading environmental economics, hazard and regional science journals.

Sean M. Duffy, Sr.
Big River Coalition: Executive Director Louisiana Maritime
Association: Executive Vice President 

The Big River Coalition is committed to ensuring the future of navigation on the Mississippi River Ship Channel (MRSC) as one of the nation’s fundamental natural resources and true economic powerhouse. The Mississippi River and Tributaries has an estimated annual impact of $735 billion on the nation’s economy and is responsible for 2.4 million jobs (585,000 jobs on the Lower River – Cairo, IL to the Gulf of Mexico and 1.86 million plus jobs on the Upper River-Lake Itasca, MN to Cairo, IL when including the IL River).

Joseph Gellings
AICP, Senior Planner, Environment and Sustainability, Port of Seattle

Joseph brings seasoned experience in land use regulations and stakeholder outreach to his planning projects at the Port.  Projects have included a facility planning process for Fishermen’s Terminal and developing a master plan for 70 acres of habitat restoration along the Lower Duwamish Waterway.  Joseph engages in City of Seattle land use projects to advocate for land use schemes that advance Port of Seattle interests.

Tony Gioiello
Deputy Executive Director of Development, Port of Los Angeles

Antonio Gioiello is the deputy executive director of development at the Port of Los Angeles, the nation’s leading container port. Appointed in January 2015, Gioiello joined the Port’s leadership team after serving as chief harbor engineer for 12 years. As deputy executive director of development, he oversees approximately 450 employees in the Engineering, Construction, Construction and Maintenance, and Goods Movement Divisions.

As chief harbor engineer of the Port’s Engineering Division, Gioiello’s projects varied in scope from planning and design of the commercial and recreational redevelopment along the LA Waterfront to planning and design of container terminals, roadways, rail facilities, security, buildings, dredging and land reclamation projects.

Before his assuming his role as chief harbor engineer, Gioiello served as harbor engineer, chief of design, where he was responsible for the management and technical oversight of the Port’s Engineering Design section, specializing in the planning and design of various Port facilities, including container terminals, cruise facilities, highway and rail improvements.

With more than 30 years of experience at the Port of Los Angeles, Gioiello spent much of his tenure managing various sections within the Port’s Engineering division, including the Civil/Planning, Special Projects, Terminal/Transportation Projects and Engineering Technology Administration sections. 

Since beginning his career in 1980 with the Port as a student engineer, Gioiello has had the unique experience of seeing some of the Port’s largest developments transform from design to completion.

Gioiello holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from California State University, Long Beach and is a graduate of the UCLA Executive Program. He is a California State-registered civil engineer.

A member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Gioiello has served as chairperson, vice chair and secretary-treasurer for the organization’s Waterways, Harbors and Coast Group and as chairperson of the American Association of Port Authorities Facilities Engineering Committee.

Gioiello is the son of a commercial fisherman and San Pedro native where he and his family currently reside.

Brenda Goeden
Sediment Program Manager, San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission

Brenda Goeden is the Sediment Program Manager for the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. She supervises the day-to-day sediment related projects, including dredging, sand and oyster shell mining, flood protection, and wetland and subtidal habitat restoration. She is BCDC’s Program Manager for the Long Term Management Strategy for the Placement of Dredged Material in the San Francisco Bay Region (LTMS) a member of the Dredged Material Management Office (DMMO), which is responsible for the beneficial reuse of over 25 million cubic yards of dredged sediment in the Bay Area. She and the BCDC Sediment Management Team worked in partnership with the San Francisco Estuary Institute, San Francisco Estuary Partnership, and the SF Bay Joint Venture on Flood Control 2.0, a multi-benefit approach to flood protection. She is the BCDC project manager for large scale wetland restoration projects, including Hamilton, Bair Island, Montezuma, and the South Bay Salt Ponds, and works to maximize beneficial reuse of sediment in these projects whenever feasible, supporting rapid marsh vegetation development. She is a frequent speaker at conferences and workshops on the subject. She has twelve years of experience developing and facilitating California marine conservation programs, as well as teaching marine science. She has a Bachelor of Arts in marine biology from Occidental College. She participates in the Great Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Beach Watch Program and Oil Spill Response Team and is a wild bird rehabilitator. 

Dave Halsing
Executive Project Manager, South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project

Dave Halsing is in his second year as the Executive Project Manager of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project. His time in this role followed 11 years in environmental consulting at firms including Environmental Science Associates, AECOM, and URS. His work focused on projects that linked environment and infrastructure with an emphasis on restoration and enhancement projects in and around San Francisco Bay. In seven of those years, he worked on the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, including its Phase 2 alternatives development, design, NEPA/CEQA documents, and permitting. His other relevant project work included the McInnis Marsh Restoration Project for Marin County Parks; the SF Bay Creosote Removal and Herring Habitat Restoration Project and the Terminal Four Wharf, Warehouse, and Piling Removal Project for the State Coastal Conservancy; and various other projects involving levees, roads, bridges, and trails on the margins of the Bay. Prior to his consulting career, Dave was a research scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park. His work focused on integrating economics, spatial data, and decision sciences into the natural and physical sciences that were the USGS’ primary focus. Dave has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Stanford University and a Master of Science in Natural Resource Policy and Management from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment. 

Stas Margaronis
President, Propeller Club of Northern California

Stas Margaronis is the California Ports Reporter for the American Journal of Transportation (AJOT).

Joost de Nooijer
Project Engineer / Project Manager Flood Risk Management
Port Development, Port of Rotterdam

Joost de Nooijer is a Civil Engineer and Project Manager Flood Risk Management at the Port of Rotterdam. He is responsible for the technical management of port development projects, like the construction of quay walls, jetties and other maritime infrastructure. Since 2015 he is working as a project manager in the Port’s Flood Risk program. In cooperation with many stakeholders, like the Municipality of Rotterdam, federal agencies, many companies, utility services, etc. he developed adaptation strategies for future flood risks in the different subregions of the Rotterdam Port area, which is one of the most valuable outer dike areas in Europe.

Jan Novak
Associate Environmental Planner and Scientist, Port of Oakland

Jan Novak is a professional wetland scientist who works as an associate environmental planner/scientist with the Port of Oakland. He is responsible for permitting water-based projects and dredging. He recently managed the Port’s AB 691 Sea-Level Rise analysis. Prior to starting at the Port, he worked for 16 years at several environmental consulting firms. He studied soil science at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Dr. Suzanne Van Cooten
Meteorologist, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Dr. Suzanne Van Cooten is the Hydrologist In Charge of the National Weather Service’s (NWS) Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center (LMRFC). She leads an interdisciplinary team of forecasters that produce daily hydrometeorological guidance and river forecasts for over 220 locations across 220,000 square miles spanning 12 states. The majority of LMRFC’s river forecasting activities focus on the lower Mississippi River and its tributaries of the Ohio, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Red Rivers.  

Prior to LMRFC, she served as Deputy Chief of the Warning Research Development Division (WRDD) at NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL). At NSSL, she accepted an interim assignment as the University of Oklahoma’s (OU) National Sea Grant Weather and Climate Extension Specialist. Dr. Van Cooten has also served as the Chief Scientist of the NWS National Data Buoy Center, regional and national program manager for NWS observing systems, and an NWS meteorologist and hydrologist in Fort Worth, TX and Slidell, LA. 

She earned her B.S. in Meteorology from OU and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of New Orleans. As a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, she actively supports efforts to diversify our nation’s STEM workforce. An author of peer-reviewed publications and pod casts on this subject, she also serves as a research mentor at NDBC, NSSL, and LMRFC, and has previously served on M.S. and Ph.D. committees for minority students at OU. She is a Life Member of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), and a Sequoyah Fellow of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES).

Marc Walraven
Senior Advisor, Storm Surge Barriers, Rijkswaterstaat & I-Storm

Marc Walraven is a representative for Rijkswaterstaat at the Delivery Board of I-STORM. In that role he stimulates and coordinates I-STORM to develop as a professional network to meet the ambitious goals and reach out to new participants.

Since 1994 he has worked within Rijkswaterstaat, the operational department of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management in the Netherlands.

The aim of I-STORM is to  bring the storm surge barrier community of practice together to seek the very best standards of operation, management and performance in order to reduce the risk of severe flooding to people, property and places around the world.

Now in 2020, I-STORM appears to be an international community of professionals that learn from each others experiences worldwide. Such as governmental organizations that manage storm surge barriers or even consider to build them. But also for Universities, Knowledge Institutes and Contractors. 

Danny Wan
Executive Director, Port of Oakland

Danny Wan was named  the Port of Oakland’s Executive Director in Nov. 2019 by the Oakland Port Commission.  Mr. Wan first advised the Port in the 1990s as an external legal counsel. From  2005 to 2008, Mr. Wan was Deputy Port Attorney. From 2008 to 2012, Mr. Wan was the City Attorney and Risk Manager for the City of Morgan Hill. In 2012, Mr. Wan became Port Attorney and advised the Port Board and staff on a broad range of issues in the conduct of the Port’s Maritime, Aviation, and Commercial Real Estate businesses. 

Mr. Wan has been a public servant, local community leader and policy maker.  He started his career in the late 1980s as a public-school teacher in Oakland and San Francisco. In 1996, he was  elected to the Board of Directors for the East Bay Municipal Utilities District. In 2000, he was appointed to the Oakland City Council to represent the Chinatown/Grand Lake district, becoming the first openly-LGBT council member in Oakland, and was elected to the position by voters two years later. Mr. Wan received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Rhetoric and Masters in Education from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Juris Doctorate from the UCLA School of Law. He lives in Oakland with his partner.

Tony Williams
Deputy Director, Coastal Field Operations
Texas General Land Office

Marine biologist with the Texas General Land Office (GLO) where his primary responsibilities include management of state-owned submerged land and coastal planning efforts.  Major efforts include the Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Feasibility Study with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan, working with USACE on other studies and regulatory issues, and derelict structure removal and disaster response.  Previous positions with the GLO include Director of Planning, Director of Coastal Resources Field Operation and biologist in both the Upper and Lower Coast Field Offices.  Before coming to the GLO he worked in USACE Galveston District Regulatory and at the National Marine Fisheries Service where he worked on seagrass ecology research.