On Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved Gene Seroka, 49, as the new executive director for the Port of Los Angeles.
The port has been without permanent leadership since late last year and is one of the US's largest seaports.
The appointment comes after Seroka was given unanimous approval by the Harbor Board of Commissioners late last week.
The shipping industry executive will replace the port's last permanent leader, Geraldine Knatz, 63, who stepped down in November.
According to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Seroka is “a dynamic, seasoned executive with all the right knowledge and skills to seize the opportunities and navigate the challenges of a fiercely competitive industry.”
Seroka’s new role will entail the management of a nearly US$939 million budget. This will include several improvement projects designed to keep the port competitive in the face of the looming US$5-billion Panama Canal expansion.
Seroka has so far declined requests for interviews. However, he said in a statement that he is “dedicated to making this powerful engine the most competitive, efficient and sustainable source of prosperity for the benefit of both our region and US international trade.”
A port spokesman said that Seroka is expected to take up the new role in the next month.