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News Release
FOR RELEASE - March 11, 2019
Contact: Aaron Ellis, Public Affairs Director,
(703) 684-5700

American Association of Port Authorities
Phone: (202) 792-4033

2019 AAPA Spring Conference in D.C. to Feature Public Port Challenges, Updates, Lessons Learned

High-ranking government officials, public policy influencers, and business and port authority leaders from throughout the Western Hemisphere will converge on Washington, D.C., March 19-20, to participate in the 2019 Spring Conference of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) – the unified and recognized voice of seaports in the Americas.

Among the conference highlights will be:

  • Keynote addresses by World Shipping Council President and CEO John W. Butler and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Rickey 'R.D.' James;
  • A U.S. Shipping Act and supply chain facilitation update by Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Michael Khouri and Commissioner Rebecca Dye;
  • Discussion on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) activities by NOAA Deputy Administrator and Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere RDML Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D., who retired from the U.S. Navy after 32 years of service, and;
  • A 2018 U.S. port economic impact analysis by economist John C. Martin, Ph.D., president of Martin Associates, Lancaster, PA, together with data analytics presentations by panelists Jay Stecher, vice president of marketing and communications for Norfolk-based The Port of Virginia, and Don Meyer, president of Westfourth Communications, Arlington, VA.

Erik Peterson, a partner and managing director for A.T. Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council, of Arlington, VA, will provide a thought-provoking presentation on how the drivers of change could affect ports with regard to macroeconomic growth, the cost of capital, and shifts in demand and production. In another presentation, David K. Rehr, Ph.D., law professor and director of George Mason University’s Center for Business Engagement in The Schar School of Policy and Government, will discuss the criticality for public ports to maintain institutional credibility to achieve support for their missions and projects.

Port of Long Beach Deputy Director of Administration and Operations Dr. Noel Hacegaba, PPM®, will lead a session titled Addressing Future Needs Through Workforce Development, featuring perspectives of academic and government experts.  Panelists include Kenneth Evans, president of Lamar University in Beaumont, TX; Thomas O’Brien, Ph.D., executive director of California State University’s Center for International Trade and Transportation, in Long Beach; and Clark Martin, program manager for the Federal Highway Administration’s Transportation Workforce Development program in the Office of Innovation Program Delivery at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

In another session, with an alert to media that the presenters’ remarks are “off the record,” U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit Staff Director Helena Zyblikewycz and Minority Staff Director Murphie Barrett will discuss federal transportation infrastructure policy.

“This year’s Spring Conference is going to be extraordinary, with key business, port and government officials, along with top subject matter experts, delving into issues that are making national and international news.  We’re particularly pleased to have World Shipping Council CEO John Butler and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Assistant Secretary for Civil Works R.D. Butler serve as our keynote speakers,” said AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle.

For more information about AAPA’s 2019 Spring Conference agenda and speakers, click here.

WHO: Hosted by American Association of Port Authorities and co-sponsored by WSP, SAP Concur, WAVcam, and The Port of Virginia, host of the AAPA 2019 Annual Convention.
WHAT: AAPA’s 2019 Spring Conference event

Tuesday and Wednesday, March 19-20, 2019, with a full day of Capitol Hill “fly-in” meetings scheduled for Thursday, March 21

WHERE: Grand Hyatt Washington, 1000 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001


Professional journalists representing bona-fide media outlets may register for complimentary access to open business sessions (March 19, 12:30pm – 4:30pm and March 20, 8:30am – 4:30pm) by emailing Aaron Ellis at  and requesting a media badge.

About AAPA

Founded in 1912 and recognized as the unified voice of seaports in the Americas, AAPA today represents 130 of the leading seaport authorities in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean and more than 200 sustaining and associate members, firms and individuals with an interest in seaports. According to IHS Markit’s World Trade Service, combined international sea trade moving through Western Hemisphere ports in 2017 totaled 4.303 billion metric tons in volume and US$2.675 trillion in value. Of that total, ports in Central and South America handled 1.741 billion metric tons of cargo valued at US$1.024 trillion, while North American ports handled 1.90 billion metric tons of goods, valued at US$2.305 trillion. To meet the growing demand for trade, the AAPA and its members are committed to keeping seaports navigable, secure and sustainable.  For more information, visit On Twitter:

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