AltaSea Adds Three to Board as Part of Next Phase of Strategic Development

February 6, 2018

New CEO McOsker joined by Knatz, Kelly on Board

SAN PEDRO, CALIF. – The Board of Trustees of AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles has added three members – including the organization’s new Chief Executive Officer Tim McOsker, USC Prof. Geraldine Knatz, and job-development leader Michael H. Kelly – as the organization expands into a new phase focused on land deals, partnerships and program building. The appointments are effective February 1.

“After a great 2017, AltaSea is adding more executive talent that can help our organization navigate the complicated next stage of our efforts to create jobs, research and educational opportunities for the L.A. Harbor area,” said AltaSea Board Chairman Camilla Townsend. “Naming Tim McOsker as CEO is a major part of that process, but so is adding Dr. Knatz and Mr. Kelly. Together they bring deep experience in education, employment development, engineering policy and more. We’re proud that such distinguished leaders have chosen to join the AltaSea board.”

AltaSea, a non-profit, was created to reshape 35 acres in the oldest part of the Port of Los Angeles into a center for ocean-oriented science research, STEM education and sustainable business creation. Such efforts are vital to diversify the region’s work opportunities as the port automates many jobs.

In 2017, AltaSea partnered with the Boys and Girls Clubs of LA Harbor, Ocean Exploration Trust and Los Angeles Maritime Institute to offer STEM classes for middle and high schoolers. It also launched work on the La Kretz Blue Economy Incubator, to stimulate startup business development, and secured several million dollars in foundation and government grants as well as hundreds of community contributions. On its deep-water-access wharf, AltaSea houses tenant partners such as Dr. Bob Ballard’s Ocean Exploration Trust and sustainable aquaculturist Catalina Sea Ranch.

The board already has approved several important 2018 goals, including a fundraising target of more than $11 million in grants and contributions, taking possession of several additional parcels, reorganizing staff at no additional salary cost, implementing a business plan to generate more tenant revenue, and finalizing a next-stage partnership with the Southern California Marine Institute, a research consortium of 22 universities and aquariums.

McOsker’s appointment as CEO was announced Jan. 27. A lifelong San Pedro resident, McOsker is a prominent Los Angeles attorney specializing in land-use, development and municipal law. He was Chief of Staff to former Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn and was Hahn’s chief deputy city attorney. McOsker is chairman of the board of the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce and a board member of Harbor Interfaith Services.

Knatz is Professor of the Practice of Policy and Engineering, with a joint appointment between the USC Price School of Public Policy and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Knatz was previously executive director of the Port of Los Angeles between 2006 and 2014, the first woman to serve in this role. She previously was managing director of the Port of Long Beach. In both positions, she pushed through major environmental initiatives, including dramatically reduced pollution emissions.

Knatz is a corporate director of the Bank of the West, past president of both the American Association of Port Authorities and the International Association of Ports and Harbors. She served for 10 years on California’s Ocean Protection Council from 2007-2017, first appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger and reappointed by Governor Brown. In 2014, Knatz was named to the National Academy of Engineering in recognition of her international leadership in the engineering and development of environmentally clean urban seaports.

Kelly is executive director of Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy & Jobs, a non-profit comprised of business, labor, academic and non-profit leaders focused on economic growth and the creation and retention of quality jobs.

Kelly serves on the board of the Center for Sustainable Energy, is chair of the FUSE Corps L.A. Advisory Committee, and is chair of the Philanthropic Foundation for California State University – Dominguez Hills. He is a member of the L.A. Cleantech Incubator’s Diversity in Entrepreneurship Committee and the Pacific Council on International Relations, a partner at Saving the West, an advisory board member for WorkingNation and an adviser to Transmosis. He received the “Torchbearer of the Year” Award from the EnCorps Teachers Program in 2010.


About AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles

AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles accelerates scientific collaboration, facilitates job creation and inspires the next generation for a more sustainable ocean. Built on a historic pier with access to the deep ocean, AltaSea’s 35-acre campus brings people together to expand science-based understanding of the ocean; incubate and sustain ocean-related business; and pioneer new ocean-related education programs. For more information, please visit


Media Contact:

Krista Swingle, Deputy Director

AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles

(424) 210-4321

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