Geraldine Knatz

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Professor of the Practice of Policy and Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering Practice


  • 1979, Doctoral Degree, Biological Sciences, University of Southern California
  • 1977, Master's Degree, Environmental Engineering, University of Southern California
  • 1973, Bachelor's Degree, Zoology, Rutgers University


Geraldine Knatz is Professor of the Practice of Policy and Engineering, a joint appointment between the USC Price School of Public Policy and the Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. At the Price School, Dr. Knatz teaches as well as conducts research in affiliation with the METRANS Transportation Center. In 2014, Knatz was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in recognition of her international leadership in the development of environmentally clean urban seaports. That same year she was honored with Containerization & Intermodal Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dr. Knatz served as the director of the Port of Los Angeles from 2006 to January 2014. She was the first woman to serve in this role and made a significant impact through the creation and implementation of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan, an aggressive plan that reduced air emissions by combined port operations of over 70 percent over five years. The Clean Air Action Plan and its Clean Truck Plan component is recognized around the world for its innovation and success.

Prior to directing the Port of Los Angeles, Dr. Knatz was the managing director of the Port of Long Beach where she also led a number of environmental initiatives, including the Green Port Policy and Truck Trip Reduction Program.

Dr. Knatz is a past and present member of several boards. She is a past member of the Viterbi School of Engineering Board of Councilors, past president of the American Association of Port Authorities and past president of the International Association of Ports and Harbors, and was the founding chairman of the World Port Climate Initiative. She served as a gubernatorial appointee for ten years on the California Ocean Protection Council. She is the vice-chairman of the Board of Trustees of Altasea at the Port of Los Angeles.

Internationally recognized for her accomplishments, Dr. Knatz has received numerous awards, including Outstanding Women in Transportation (Journal of Commerce, 2007), Woman Executive of the Year (Los Angeles Business Journal, 2007), Compass Award (Women’s Leadership Exchange, 2008), honorary PhD, Maine Maritime Academy (2009), and the Peter Benchley Ocean Award (Blue Frontier Campaign, 2012).

Research Summary

Seaport policy and management, maritime transportation, international trade, seaport sustainability


  • 2020 Westerner's International Founder's Award, Second Place
  • 2016 Los Angeles Public Library Bruckman Award for Best Book About Los Angeles
  • 2016 Westerner's International Best Book About the West
  • 2016 Conference of California Historical Societies Scholastic Authorship Award
  • 2014 National Academy of Engineering Elected to the National Academy of Engineering
  • 2014 Containerization and Intermodal Institute Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2013 University of Southern California, Scott Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Alumni Award
  • 2013 University of Southern California Alumni Merit Award
  • 2012 Los Angeles City Historical Society Special Award in Historical Preservation
  • 2012 Blue Frontier Campaign’s Peter Benchley Ocean Award
  • 2012 Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Named Mujer Maritima (Maritime Woman)
  • 2011 California State University, Long Beach College of Continuing and Professional Education Exceptional Alumni Award
  • 2009 Maine Maritime Academy Ph.D. Science, Honoris Causa
  • 2009 National Association of Women Business Owners-Los Angeles (NAWBO-LA) Leadership Award
  • 2009 Volunteers of America Volunteers of America’s 2009 China Friendship Award
  • 2009 Los Angeles magazine Named to Los Angeles magazine’s “Power List” of L.A. Influentials
  • 2008 Women’s Leadership Exchange Compass Award, Women’s Leadership Exchange West Coast Summit (2008)
  • 2008 California Apparel News magazine Listed among Newsmakers and Most Influential in the California Fashion Industry
  • 2007 Los Angeles Business Journal Named Woman Executive of the Year
  • 2007 Journal of Commerce Named one of the “Outstanding Women in Transportation”
  • 2006 Los Angeles Times Magazine Named one of “The West 100"
  • Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • USC PRICE School of Policy Planning and Development

  • KAP 268A
  • Kaprielian Hall
  • 3620 South Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90089
  • USC Mail Code: NA

Contact Information
  • (562) 343-0226


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