Mario Cordero

Chairman, Federal Maritime Commission


Mr. Cordero of Long Beach, CA, was sworn in June 3, 2011, as a Commissioner. Prior to his appointment to the FMC, Chairman Cordero was an attorney in private practice and served eight years on the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners where he spearheaded the Port’s pioneering Green Port Policy. He served one term as Board President and two terms as Vice-President. Mr. Cordero served as a professor of Political Science at Long Beach City College, sat on the Long Beach Community Development Commission, and was Vice-Chair of the Long Beach Ethics Review Task Force.


Mark Hirzel

President, Los Angeles Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association, Inc.


Mr. Hirzel is the Customs Consultancy Manager for DHL Global Logistics, responsible for DHL’s professional consulting services team in the United States. He consults with DHL’s largest clients on developing internal audits and programs, to insure compliance with import and export laws and regulations. He previously recently served as Director of MIQ Logistics’ Global Trade Management team and their Western Regional Director, with total responsibility for MIQ’s Global operations in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. Mr. Hirzel has also consulted and counseled clients on US Customs Border Protection (CBP) classification and compliance issues; development Importer Security Filing (ISF) processes; and provided internal and external compliance education programs


Hasan Ikhrata

Executive Director, Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG)


Hasan Ikhrata is the Executive Director of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the largest metropolitan planning organization in the United States. Appointed in January 2008, Mr. Ikhrata has over 25 years of public and private sector experience in Transportation Planning in the Southern California Region. At SCAG Mr. Ikhrata implements the policies of an 86-member Regional Council and directs day-to-day operations of the agency. Prior to joining SCAG in 1994, Mr. Ikhrata worked for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD); and Mr. Ikhrata also worked abroad for the USSR government, Moscow Metro Corporation. Mr. Ikhrata holds a Masters Degree in Civil and Industrial Engineering from Zaporozhye University in the former Soviet Union; a Masters degree in Civil Engineering from UCLA and a PhD Candidacy in Urban Planning from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.


The Honorable Paul Jaenichen

Administrator, U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration


Captain Jaenichen was appointed by President Obama and has served as Maritime Administrator since 25 July 2014. He previously served as both Deputy and Acting Maritime Administrator from July 2012 to July 2014. Captain Jaenichen was a nuclear trained Submarine Officer in the U.S. Navy for 30 years. He served as Commanding Officer of USS ALBANY (SSN 753) and as Commander, Submarine Squadron ELEVEN in San Diego, California. His shore tours included assignments as Deputy Chief of Legislative Affairs for the Department of the Navy and as Chief, European and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Policy Division on the Joint Staff where he was responsible for military-to-military engagement with all 26 NATO nations. Captain Jaenichen's hometown is Brandenburg, Kentucky. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Ocean Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and a Masters in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University.


Brian P. Kelly

Secretary, California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA)


In 2013 Brian P. Kelly was sworn in as the first secretary of the new California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA), which has replaced the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency (BT&H) with a new agency focused solely on transportation. Secretary Kelly had previously been running BT&H since Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. appointed him to lead the agency in 2012. As Acting Secretary, he oversaw 12 departments and several economic development programs and commissions consisting of more than 45,000 employees and a budget of $18 billion -- a budget larger than most states in the nation. The new CalSTA portfolio – which addresses a myriad of transportation issues – remains one of the largest in the State of California.



Senator Ricardo Lara

California State Senate, 33rd District


Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) was elected with overwhelming support in November 2012 to represent the Southeast Los Angeles County cities of the 33rdSenate District. He has risen the ranks of the State Senate to serve as one of its most influential members during his first term. He was appointed to serve on the powerful Senate Rules and Appropriations Committees and was elected by his peers to head the influential 23-member California Latino Legislative Caucus. He also sits on the Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing, the Committee on Natural Resources and Water and Chairs the Select Committee on Ports and Goods Movements.


Jennifer Lucchesi

Executive Officer, California State Lands Commission


Jennifer Lucchesi was appointed by the State Lands Commission as its Executive Officer in 2012. Ms. Lucchesi began her career at the Commission in 1999, primarily working with ports and harbor districts to facilitate waterfront redevelopment. She has worked on projects in virtually every county in the state, with an emphasis on the Public Trust Doctrine, land use, waterfront redevelopment and boundary issues involving the state’s ports, harbor districts and waterways. Prior to her appointment as Executive Officer, Ms. Lucchesi served as the Commission’s Chief Counsel. Ms. Lucchesi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and a Juris Doctor from McGeorge School of Law.


Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom

Lieutenant Governor, State of California


As a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, then as mayor of San Francisco and now as Lieutenant Governor of California, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom has been a visionary on issues of equality, the environment, homelessness and healthcare. Policies he has initiated and implemented have been duplicated in cities across the nation. During his seven-year tenure as mayor, he led San Francisco to an economic recovery, balancing seven consecutive budgets without laying off a single teacher, police officer, or firefighter. Thirty-six days into his first mayoral term in 2004, Lieutenant Governor Newsom threw himself into one of the most divisive issues in U.S. politics by allowing same-sex couples to marry in violation of state law. His administration also instituted a first-of-its-kind universal health care program without adding new taxes. Shortly after being elected Lieutenant Governor in 2010, Lieutenant Governor Newsom gathered the ideas of key stakeholders around the state to develop an economic growth and job creation strategy. This comprehensive economic blueprint ensures that California remains one of the top 10 economies in the world. He is the author of “Citizenville,” which explores the intersection of democracy and technology in this ever-connected world. The ideas of his book have been widely accepted by both Democrats and Republicans as a blueprint for government innovation and reform. Lieutenant Governor Newsom is married to actress/producer Jennifer Siebel Newsom. They reside in Marin County with their three children Montana, Hunter and Brooklynn.



Mary D. Nichols

Chairman, California Air Resources Board (ARB)


Mary D. Nichols, J.D., was reappointed Chairman of the California Air Resources Board by Governor Jerry Brown in 2011, a post she previously held under Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger from 2007 to 2010 and under Governor Brown (during his first tenure) from 1979 to 1983. At ARB she is responsible for implementing California's landmark greenhouse gas emissions legislation as well as setting air pollution standards for motor vehicles, fuels and consumer products. After graduating from Cornell University and Yale Law School, Chairman Nichols practiced environmental law in Los Angeles and was appointed by President Clinton to head the Office of Air and Radiation at U.S. EPA. She also served as California's Secretary for Natural Resources from 1999 to 2003.



Chris Shimoda

Director of Policy, California Trucking Association


Mr. Shimoda is the Director of Policy for the California Trucking Association and is responsible for overseeing the CTA’s public policy development and implementation. He has been with CTA since 2007 and has previously managed both the Association’s Safety and Environmental Policy. Throughout his career Mr. Shimoda has worked with California agencies including the California Air Resources Board and California Highway Patrol on the development and implementation of major programs and regulations impacting the trucking industry. He is a graduate of UC Davis.


Christian G. Yuhas

Patrolman, Oakland Branch of Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association


Mr. Christian Yuhas is the Patrolman for the Oakland branch of the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association. Mr. Yuhas is a graduate of the California Maritime Academy and holds a US Coast Guard Unlimited Chief Engineers License, steam diesel & Gas Turbine. He has actively sailed in the US Merchant Marine for over 24 years, highlights include resupply trips to Antarctica, working as Chief Engineer of a deep water drill ship and being Chief Engineer of the Hawaii Superferry. In 2014, following his career at sea, he was appointed as Oakland Patrolman for the M.E.B.A. The M.E.B.A. is America’s oldest Maritime Union. Patrolman Yuhas’s priorities are job creation, contract negotiation, contract enforcement and membership services. In October of 2014, Mr. Yuhas created and hosted the 1st annual Hawaiian Inter-Island Ferry Conference in Honolulu Hawaii, in an effort to bring back an inter-island ferry system. An Inter-Island Ferry system will bring new jobs to the US Merchant Marine and the Hawaiian Economy, while allowing tourists, residents and business’s an alternative to flying between the islands.


If you would like to inquire about speaking at the California Maritime Leadership Sympsoium, please click here to email the organizers.