The Port of New Orleans has announced that, effective Jan. 1, 2017, Brandy D. Christian has begun service as the Port’s president and chief executive officer following her two-year tenure as its chief operating officer, according to a prepared statement.
“Brandy is an experienced maritime professional with a strategic mindset and clear focus on actionable goals,” said Chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners Michael Kearney. “The Board’s competitive national search for a COO was part of an executive succession plan. We had hoped the successful candidate would eventually be able to lead the Port. Brandy exceeded our expectations by quickly understanding our challenges, identifying opportunities to improve efficiencies, and developing a plan for future growth. She is the right person to lead the Port in today’s increasingly competitive environment.”
Christian’s credentials include broad maritime experience encompassing cargo and cruise operations. Prior to her service as COO with the Port of New Orleans, she held leadership positions with the Port of San Diego for 14 years, culminating in her role as vice president, strategy and business development. During her tenure with California’s fourth-largest cargo port, Christian was the driving force behind securing major accounts for the cruise and cargo business lines at the Port. She was also instrumental in significantly improving operational processes and reducing costs for the public agency.
“I am honored to build on the Port of New Orleans’ legacy of leadership by embracing growth opportunities and partnering collaboratively with stakeholders locally and throughout the state for our collective benefit,” said Christian. “We are capable of achieving great successes, and will need to be both bold and practical to reach our goals. I look forward to meeting the challenge.”
Christian is the first woman President and CEO in Port NOLA’s 120-year history and one of the few women port directors in the country. She succeeds Gary LaGrange, who served as president and chief executive officer for the past 15 years.