Long-time community advocate and international trade visionary Ambassador Vilma Martinez has announced her plans to step down as president of the Los Angeles Harbor Commission on April 6th. Ambassador Martinez has served on the board since 2013.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has named Jaime L. Lee to the Harbor Commission, an appointment that will go before the Los Angeles City Council for approval in the coming weeks. All members of the five-member commission are volunteers.
“It’s been my honor and privilege to have served as president of the Los Angeles Harbor Commission,” said Ambassador Martinez. “I am very proud to have served our nation’s number one container port working alongside my fellow commissioners and Port staff to assure that our Port remains strongly competitive, grows sustainably and continues to be an engaged and supportive member of the community. I am forever grateful to Mayor Garcetti for having allowed me this incredible opportunity to help shape the future of international trade in Los Angeles.”
During her tenure on the Board, Ambassador Martinez oversaw several major milestones, including consecutive years of record cargo growth and the development and approval of the 2017 Clean Air Action Plan update. She was also instrumental in the formulation of two Port five-year strategic plans, as well as in creating the Port’s Public Access Investment Plan that now provides a more consistent, predictable funding stream for non-cargo related public-serving projects and programs.
Prior to her Harbor Commission appointment, Ambassador Martinez, appointed by President Obama, served as U.S. Ambassador to Argentina from 2009 to 2013. She was also previously a partner at the law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson, and served as past president and general counsel of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). Martinez was a University of California regent for 14 years and served as its chairman from 1984 to 1986. She was also a President Clinton appointee to the Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations from 1994 to 1996.
A native Angeleno, Jaime L. Lee has served as Board President and commissioner on the Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System Board of Administration for the past four years. Previously, Lee was a commissioner on the Los Angeles City Industrial Development Authority, the Los Angeles City Quality and Productivity Commission, and on the State of California’s Speech Language Pathology, Audiology & Hearing Aid Dispensers Board. Lee holds a law degree from USC.
The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners oversees the management and operation of the Port of Los Angeles. The five-member volunteer board is appointed by the Mayor of Los Angeles and confirmed by the Los Angeles City Council. The commissioners serve five-year terms and elections are typically held every July for the offices of president and vice president.