Director of Government Relations
Port of Long Beach, California
Samara Ashley is the Director of Government Relations for the Port of Long Beach, California, reporting to the Deputy Executive Director of Administration & Operations. Appointed to the post in 2007, she is responsible for advising the Port’s Executive Director and the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, governing body for the Port, on Port-related legislative issues and assisting in the formulation of the Port’s legislative agenda.
Ms. Ashley is also the Port’s representative to federal, state and local governments. In this capacity, she oversees the activities of the Port’s legislative advocates in Sacramento and Washington.
Before joining the Port, she served as Account Executive with Los Angeles-based government and public relations firm Cerrell Associates Inc. Her clients included the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority and the Southern California Association of Governments. Earlier in her career she worked on port and transportation issues as a District Field Representative in Long Beach for then-State Sen. Betty Karnette.
Ms. Ashley is a member of several industry associations, including the Women’s Transportation Seminar and the Harbor Association of Industry and Commerce, in addition to serving with numerous nonprofit organizations.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a master’s degree in public policy, international relations and American politics from Pepperdine University.
The Port of Long Beach is the premier U.S. gateway for trans-Pacific trade and a trailblazer in innovative goods movement, safety, environmental stewardship and sustainability. As the second-busiest container seaport in the United States, the Port handles trade valued at more than $194 billion annually and supports 1.4 million trade-related jobs cross the nation, including more than 300,000 in Southern California. Again named Best Green Seaport worldwide in 2018, the Port is committed to environmentally sustainable practices and policies that also improve operational efficiency. This includes an unprecedented $46.5 million Community Grants Program to lessen Port impacts on air quality, traffic, noise and water quality. Founded in 1911, the Port today encompasses 3,200 acres with 35 miles of waterfront, 10 piers, 80 berths and 66 gantry cranes. In 2017, the Port handled more than 7.5 million container units, the best year in its history.