The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners on Monday voted unanimously to promote Heather Tomley, a widely respected Southern California leader in environmental improvement programs, to Managing Director of Planning and Environmental Affairs for the Harbor Department.
Tomley, with the Department since 2005, has served as the Acting Managing Director for the past 12 months while the Port conducted a nationwide search for candidates for the executive position.
“Heather has deep experience creating and managing cutting-edge projects that have dramatically improved air quality and earned crucial industry cooperation, such as the Clean Trucks Program and the Technology Advancement Program,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “The Port will benefit from her skill set and industry relationships while it engages in long-term planning efforts like the Port Master Plan and San Pedro Bay Rail Study Update, and as it proceeds in earnest on its most ambitious and far-reaching goal ever – to achieve zero emissions cargo operations.”
“We long ago prioritized making our operations sustainable while supporting the Port’s role as a thriving economic engine,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Bonnie Lowenthal. “Heather has been a part of so many of our environmental planning successes, and I can’t think of anyone better suited than her to help us take that mission to the next level.”
As Managing Director, Tomley leads the Port’s Environmental Planning, Transportation Planning and Master Planning divisions. The Planning Bureau’s portfolio includes efforts to implement the Green Port Policy, protect habitat, improve air and water quality, manage stormwater, adapt to climate change, implement the Port’s energy initiative, manage the Community Grants Program, find transportation efficiencies, seek and manage grants for transportation infrastructure and environmental projects, analyze traffic patterns and identify rail improvements, plan for future land uses, and facilitate strategic planning.
Under Tomley’s leadership, the Planning Bureau’s efforts will intensify in the coming years to carry out the bold objectives of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan. As part of an update to the signature plan, the Harbor Commissions of the two neighboring powerhouse seaports – Long Beach and Los Angeles – committed in November 2017 to put the ports on the road to reach zero-emissions cargo handling by 2030 and trucking by 2035.
Tomley joined the Port in 2005 as an Environmental Planning Associate, was promoted to Environmental Specialist and then Senior Environmental Specialist in 2006 and Assistant Director of Environmental Planning in 2008 before being named Director in 2014.
Before coming to Long Beach, she served as a Project Scientist with SCS Engineers (2004-2005) following five years (1999 to 2004) as an Air Quality Specialist for the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District.
Tomley earned her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and her Master of Science in Environmental Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.