Port of San Diego Names First Female CEO

By MarEx 2015-06-09 10:04:19

The Port of San Diego has named Randa Coniglio to be the first female CEO in its over 50 year history.

Coniglio was selected as the top candidate after a rigorous nation-wide executive search that began in December. The port’s Board of Commissioners is expected to appoint Coniglio on June 11, and she will assume her duties as President and CEO on June 12. The move will make her the first woman CEO in the Port’s 52-year history.

Coniglio currently serves as the Port’s Executive Vice President of Operations. She is credited with playing a pivotal role in a number of port initiatives including securing a 25-year lease renewal with Dole Fresh Fruit and obtaining approval for the San Diego Convention Center expansion.

“Randa is a focused, diligent and highly creative leader who consistently delivers strong outcomes,” explained Port Chairman Dan Malcolm. “This, combined with her track record in gaining the trust of stakeholders, achieving consensus and maintaining long-term, mutually beneficial relationships truly set her apart as the best candidate for this position.”

Coniglio was hired in 2000 by the Port District after a 13-year private sector career in real estate development and real estate portfolio management. She started her tenure with the port as Senior Asset Manager in the Real Estate Department and quickly ascended the ranks.

“I am so honored to have been selected as the Port of San Diego’s next President and CEO,” said Coniglio. “We have such great momentum right now on a variety of fronts. I am very fortunate to have this opportunity at a time when there is so much positive energy around the Port’s projects and initiatives.”

Coniglio will replace John Bolduc, who has been the Port’s Acting CEO since July 2014. Bolduc will continue to serve on the executive leadership team.

The Port of San Diego encompasses five member cities in its vicinity and has developed commercial business along 34 miles of San Diego Bay.


NOAA to Boost Arctic Navigational Safety

By MarEx 2015-06-09 11:23:41

NOAA officially deployed two survey ships Monday in a bid to improve navigational safety in the Arctic.

The Rainier and Fairweather will conduct surveys of the ocean floor to measure water depths and search for navigational dangers. This data will be used to update Alaskan navigational maps and improve overall safety.

NOAA is currently stepping up Arctic charting activities in anticipation of growing vessel traffic in the region. This year’s hydrographic project areas for Alaska will cover an area of 2,800 square nautical miles, plus the 12,000 linear nautical miles for the shipping route project.

In remarks directed to the crews of NOAA ships, Vice Admiral Michael S. Devany, NOAA deputy under secretary for operations, said, “Most Arctic waters that are charted were surveyed with obsolete technology, with some of the information dating back to Captain Cook’s voyages, long before the region was part of the United States. Your work this summer is a crucial mission in our determination to make the Arctic seas safer for shipping, sustenance, and marine life.”

The NOAA ships will collect new charting data for Port Clarence, Kotzebue Sound, and Point Hope. The ships will also survey the seafloor as they transit to and from the project areas, collecting data along a potential Arctic shipping route from Unimak Island to the Chukchi Sea, as proposed in the U.S. Coast Guard’s Port Access Route Study for the region.

NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, which manages NOAA’s surveys and creates the nation’s nautical charts, will also manage a survey project conducted by TerraSond under a federal contract. The private company will check the extent of the Prince of Wales shoals, to help vessels transiting to and from points in the Chukchi and Bering Seas.

The Rainier and the Fairweather were launched at a June 8 World Ocean Day Ceremony and mark the official start of the 2015 Arctic hydrographic survey season. NOAA is also carrying out non-Arctic Alaskan survey projects for Chatham Strait, Shumagin Islands, Kodiak, and west Prince of Wales Island.


Malaysia to Protest Chinese Coast Guard Intrusion

By Reuters 2015-06-09 08:22:41

Malaysia will protest against what it said was the intrusion of a Chinese coast guard ship into its waters north of Borneo, the Wall Street Journal reported, in another departure from the country’s soft approach to the South China Sea dispute.

China has overlapping claims with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei in the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year.

Malaysian National Security Minister Shahidan Kassim was quoted as telling the Journal that Prime Minister Najib Razak would raise the issue directly with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The report comes after Shahidan posted pictures on Facebook of what he said was a Chinese coast guard ship anchored at Luconia Shoals, an area of islets and reefs about 150 km (93 miles) north of Malaysian Borneo.

The shoals are inside the 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone claimed by Malaysia and about 2,000 km from mainland China, he said, adding that any foreign vessels entering the area were “intruders”.

“This is not an area with overlapping claims. In this case, we’re taking diplomatic action,” Shahidan was quoted as saying in the report on Monday.

Shahidan could not immediately be reached for comment.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said he did “not have knowledge” of the case and declined further comment.

Malaysia has generally adopted a cautious line in its dealings with Beijing over disputed territory in the South China Sea, in contrast to Vietnam and the Philippines, which have railed against perceived Chinese expansionism.

But two Chinese naval exercises in quick succession around the James Shoal, which lies inside Malaysia’s exclusive economic zone, prompted Kuala Lumpur to change its approach last year, senior diplomats previously told Reuters.

More recently, Beijing has angered its Southeast Asian neighbors and caused consternation in Washington and Tokyo by creating artificial islands in the potentially mineral-rich waters, with harbors and runways fit for military use.

On Monday, Group of Seven nations said they were concerned about tensions in the East and South China Seas and called for countries to abide by international law.

Hong said the G7 statement was “far from the facts”.

“We urge the G7 to earnestly respect the facts, abandon prejudice, stop making irresponsible remarks and earnestly do more things to help solve the problem,” he said.

The United States has said that while it does not take sides in the dispute, it is determined to keep vital shipping lanes open.