The Port Authority has announced that Molly Campbell – a leading executive for nearly 15 years with the Port of Los Angeles and an experienced leader in the maritime industry – was selected following a nationwide search as the agency’s new Director of Port Commerce. Ms. Campbell will replace retiring Port Commerce Director Richard Larrabee, who will leave the agency after 15 years of overseeing the East Coast’s largest seaport facility.
Ms. Campbell joined the Port of Los Angeles in 2000 as its Chief Financial Officer and was promoted to Deputy Executive Director in January 2007, at which point she was responsible for the day-to-day administration at the nation’s busiest port complex. During her tenure, she was responsible for key strategic development projects, operations and maintenance, as well as management of the port’s annual operating and capital budgets. She also played active roles in national and international logistics associations, including the Vice Chair of the Finance Committee for the International Association of Ports and Harbors and the Chair of the American Association of Port Authorities Maritime Economic Development Committee. Ms. Campbell also was a member of the City of Long Beach Planning Commission, where she is a resident. Ms. Campbell recently moved to become the Director of Financial Management Systems at Los Angeles World Airports for the City of Los Angeles, helping bring multi-modal transportation experience to her new role at the Port Authority.
“Molly is a rising star in the maritime community, and we’re fortunate to get someone with her leadership, financial and management skills to advance our port’s longstanding reputation as a premier generator of jobs and economic activity,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. “At the same time, we’re also losing a maritime legend in Rick Larrabee, who during 47 years of Coast Guard and Port Authority service truly exemplifies what it means to be a public servant. Rick’s strategic vision helped drive major agency projects such as the harbor deepening, ExpressRail, the raising of the roadway of the Bayonne Bridge, and the Council on Port Performance to improve productivity, positioning the port for the future. We wish Rick and his family the best in his retirement.”
“Over the years, I’ve had an opportunity to work with the staff at the Port of New York and New Jersey through professional industry organizations,” Ms. Campbell said. “I’ve always been impressed by the caliber of staff and the phenomenal work of the port to advance the economic activities of the region. I’m honored and excited to have the opportunity to join this outstanding organization.”
Ms. Campbell will join the Port Authority on July 27 at a time when cargo volumes in the Port of New York and New Jersey are at record levels and port stakeholders are working cooperatively to develop more efficient ways to handle expected cargo growth. Under Mr. Larrabee’s watch, the agency and other port stakeholders established the Port Performance Task Force in December 2013, which developed 23 recommendations for ways to improve port efficiency and productivity. A group of stakeholders subsequently formed the Council on Port Performance, which is now implementing the recommendations.
In addition, the agency is currently undertaking a project to raise the roadway of the Bayonne Bridge to remove a critical navigational impediment for post Panamax ships traveling to and from port terminals. The navigational clearance component of the project is scheduled for completion in 2016 to coincide with completion of the widening of the Panama Canal.
During Mr. Larrabee’s career, the Port Authority also undertook major initiatives including an expansion of the port’s ExpressRail system, the deepening of harbor channels to 45 feet and continued work to deepen the same channels to 50 feet, major improvements to better secure port facilities, and the modernization of port terminals. While the port has been preparing for larger ships and more cargo, it continues to focus on reducing its environmental footprint. In 2012, the Port of New York and New Jersey received the Northeast Diesel Collaborative Breathe Easy Leadership Award for its efforts to reduce pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions from all port-related sources. The port’s initiatives included the Truck Replacement Program and the Ocean-Going Vessel Low-Sulfur Fuel Program.
Currently, the Port of New York and New Jersey supports 296,000 direct and indirect jobs and $38 billion in regional economic activity.
Before joining the Port Authority in 2000, Mr. Larrabee spent 32 years in the U.S. Coast Guard, retiring as a Rear Admiral. During his Coast Guard service, he served a tour as Coast Guard Captain of the Port, New York. His final assignment was as Commander, First Coast Guard District in Boston, Mass., during which time he oversaw the search and rescue operations following the fatal plane crash of John F. Kennedy Jr. in 1999 and the subsequent crash of Egypt Air Flight 990 later that same year.