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 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 his appointment as Executive Director in May 2017 and was FMC Chairman from April 2013 to January 2017. The FMC is the federal agency responsible for regulating the nation’s international ocean transportation for the benefit of exporters, importers and the American consumer and fostering a fair, efficient and reliable international ocean transportation system, while protecting the public from unfair and deceptive practices.
As Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach, Mr. Cordero reports to the Board and leads the Port’s Harbor Department staff of more than 500 with a budget of $982 million for the 2019 fiscal year. Inclusiveness and collaboration are hallmarks of Mr. Cordero’s leadership style, and due to both his Port and FMC leadership experience, he understands the needs of ocean carriers, terminal operators, cargo owners and other trade partners locally, nationally and around the globe.
During his tenure as a Long Beach Harbor Commissioner, Mr. 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 public to better understand Port operations and how the Port benefits the Long Beach citizens it serves, Mr. Cordero also promoted an expanded Port community outreach program.
He serves as the Port’s representative to the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority Governing Board and to the Governing Board of the Intermodal Container Transfer Facility-Joint Powers Authority.
Mr. Cordero was named Vice Chairman of the Board for the American Association of Port Authorities in October 2018. He previously served as an Executive Board member on AAPA’s Latin American delegation and was instrumental in the development of policy urging greater cooperation and trade between North American and Latin American ports.
Mr. Cordero has practiced law for more than 30 years, specializing in workers’ compensation cases. He is 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.
The Mexican-American Bar Association named him Attorney of the Year in 2007, and he received an environmental award the same year from the League of California Cities.
Away from his legal practice, he has taught political science at Long Beach City College, focusing on California politics, and served on the City of Long Beach Community Development Commission. He also was Vice-Chair of the City-commissioned Long Beach Ethics Task Force that developed a Code of Ethics for Long Beach City employees, as well as elected and appointed officials.
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.
Born in Los Angeles and raised in Gardena, Mario Cordero is a classically trained pianist, playing since the age of 8, and also expresses himself through poetry. He moved to Long Beach in 1974 when he married Long Beach native Gloria (Duron) Cordero. The couple, who still reside in Long Beach, have two children. Mrs. Cordero has an impressive history of public service in Long Beach and heads Cordero & Associates, a Long Beach-based public affairs firm. She currently serves on the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners. Their daughter, Celine, is also a lawyer, and son, Mario Andres, is an educator at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower.
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.