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News Release
FOR RELEASE - March 7, 2011
Contact: Aaron Ellis,

American Association of Port Authorities
1010 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 684-5700

US Export Director, EU Transport Commissioner Cabinet Head, Member of Congress To Highlight AAPA’s 2011 Spring Conference

Annual Ports Meeting Set for March 21-23 in Washington, D.C.

Courtney Gregoire, director of the National Export Initiative (NEI) for the International Trade Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Henrik Hololei, head of the transport cabinet for European Commission Vice President Siim Kallas, and Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr., M.D. (R-La.), chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee of the House Ways & Means Committee, together with a host of other transportation industry luminaries, will highlight the American Association of Port Authorities' (AAPA) 2011 Spring Conference on March 22 at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington, D.C.  The full conference runs March 21-23.

As NEI's director, Ms. Gregoire is responsible for leading the International Trade Administration's implementation of President Obama's goal to double U.S. exports in the next five years and support 2 million U.S. jobs.  Prior to her appointment as NEI director last April, she served as the commerce department's director of legislative affairs, and, earlier, as legislative director and chief counsel for U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell. 

In charge of EU Commission Vice President Kallas' transport cabinet, Mr. Hololei-who will give the Spring Conference opening address-manages transport cabinet activities and coordinates the EU's transport security issues.  Prior to joining the Commission in 2004, he led Estonia's preparations for EU membership, having had an extensive career in Estonia's State Chancellery, successively as counselor to the minister for European affairs, then head of the office of European integration, and chief government counselor and director for EU affairs.

Rep. Boustany, a cardiovascular surgeon representing Southwest Louisiana's 7th Congressional District, will discuss the importance of ports and the critical need to adequately maintain and improve federal navigation channels.  In January, Rep. Boustany introduced H.R. 104, the Realize America's Maritime Promise (RAMP) Act, which has as its intent ensuring full utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund.

AAPA's Spring Conference and "Washington People's Luncheon" typically attracts 200-300 seaport industry leaders, legislators, government officials and their staff members.  During the "Washington People Luncheon" program on March 22 in which Ms. Gregoire will be the featured speaker, she will accept an award on behalf of the Department of Commerce which AAPA is presenting in recognition of the agency's leadership in promoting U.S. exports and supply chain competitiveness. 

"We are fortunate to have such a superb and complementary contingent of transportation industry leaders for this year's Washington, D.C., ports conference to address timely issues of concern," said AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle.  "Efficient, secure and navigable seaports help propel economic prosperity, encourage international trade and investment, and create jobs.  Despite billions of dollars of investments by Western Hemisphere ports each year, inadequate infrastructure connecting them to landside transportation networks and waterside ocean shipping lanes often creates bottlenecks resulting in congestion, productivity losses and a global economic disadvantage for the nations they serve.  Our Spring Conference speakers will address many of these challenges, from both a U.S. and international perspective."

Other transportation dignitaries who will make presentations during the March 22 business program include (in alphabetical order):

  • Robert K. Dawson, president, Dawson & Associates, Inc.
  • Sarah Kutulakos, executive director, Canada China Business Council
  • Robert West, principal strategist - Ports, Coastal, & Maritime, Latin America & the Caribbean, WorleyParsons Group Inc.

WHO: American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) 
WHAT: AAPA's 2011 Spring Conference  
WHEN: Monday through Wednesday, March 21-23 (only March 22 sessions open to media coverage) 
WHERE: Willard Inter-Continental Hotel, 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 
MEDIA: Credentialed journalists interested in covering this event for media purposes are asked to contact Aaron Ellis,, to obtain a media pass. 

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