AltaSea Board Elects Doane Liu Chairman

February 22, 2018

Dr. Geraldine Knatz, Monique Johnson, Michael Kelly also named to board leadership

SAN PEDRO, CALIF. – Today, the Board of Trustees of AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles elected Doane Liu to the position of Chairman.   Liu was previously AltaSea’s board Vice Chairman. He has worked closely with the organization, particularly while serving as deputy executive director for the Port of Los Angeles. Liu is currently the head of the Los Angeles Department of Convention and Tourism Development.

“I’m grateful to the board for electing me to help steward this next stage of AltaSea’s growth,” said Liu. “We continue to build on many strengths. We have the support of a dynamic leadership team with CEO Tim McOsker, Executive Director Jenny Krusoe and Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Sandra Whitehouse.  We are building on the important foundational achievements of the past few years while accelerating AltaSea’s capacity to fully deliver on our ambitious vision.”

Dr. Geraldine Knatz joins the board’s leadership team as Vice Chair.  In her previous role as executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, Dr. Knatz developed the vision for the AltaSea project.  The board also named Monique Johnson as Treasurer.  Johnson is the Senior Vice President and Director of Client and Treasury Management for Beneficial State Bank. The board also elected Michael H. Kelly, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy & Jobs, to be its Secretary.

Camilla Townsend, the outgoing Board Chairman and Executive Director of the Max H. Gluck Foundation, will remain with the board as an emeritus member. Martin H. Blank, Jr. Co-Trustee and COO of the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, is stepping down as Secretary/Treasurer, but will remain on the board.  

During Townsend’s term as Chairman, AltaSea grew rapidly, concluded a string of important partnerships and tenant deals and raised millions of dollars in grant money and other contributions needed to help realize the organization’s ambitious vision.

“Camilla’s contributions to AltaSea as Chairman during these years of growth and success have been incalculable,” said Liu. “We’re so grateful for her leadership and for her willingness to continue to be involved with the board as an emeritus member.” 

Liu has a long history of public service to the city of Los Angeles, serving as a Deputy Mayor under Mayor Eric Garcetti, establishing the Great Streets Studio and LA Riverworks initiatives in the major’s office and helping oversee 15 city departments. He previously was chief of staff for City Councilmember Joe Buscaino, Councilmember Janice Hahn, Deputy Mayor for L.A. Mayor James Hahn, and District Director for U.S Rep. Jane Harman.

Liu currently serves on the boards of the L.A. Fleet Week Foundation and of Sister Cities of Los Angeles. He previously served on the board of the L.A. County Business Federation, Harbor Interfaith Shelter, Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, L.A. Neighborhood Initiative, L.A. Regional Food Bank, Mary Star of the Sea High School and Holy Trinity School. He also served as a senior executive with JP Morgan Chase and Security Pacific National Bank.  Liu and his family have lived in the San Pedro area for nearly three decades.

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.

Johnson, the newly elected board Treasurer, previously served on executive teams with several finance and banking organizations, including SunPac LLC, Wedbush Bank, and the former Imperial Bank. She’s a board member of Junior Achievement of Southern California and was a founding board member for Community Resource Exchange.

Kelly, the Board Secretary, heads the Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy and Jobs, a non-profit focused on regional economic growth and the creation and retention of quality jobs. He previously served in several high-level positions in the private sector and with state government. Kelly is currently also on the board of the Center for Sustainable Energy, and is Chair of the FUSE Corps LA Advisory Committee. He serves with a variety of other organizations, including the Pacific Council on International Relations, Saving the West, WorkingNation, Transmosis, and the LA Cleantech Incubator’s Diversity in Entrepreneurship Committee.

AltaSea is converting 35 acres into a center for ocean-focused science research, STEM-based education and sustainable business incubation. As ports automate, the harbor area will need new sources of good jobs, educated workers to fill those jobs, and cutting-edge research to fuel new sustainable companies. AltaSea’s ocean focus leverages the vast, little-understood and largely untapped resource at the city’s front door.

AltaSea partners and tenants include Dr. Bob Ballard’s Ocean Exploration Trust, Los Angeles Harbor Boys & Girls Clubs, La Kretz Blue Economy Incubator, Braid Theory, Blue Robotics, The Longest Swim, and Catalina Sea Ranch.


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

Director of Operations

AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles


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