September 8, 2020 — Port of San Diego President Randa Coniglio today announced that she will retire as the Port’s chief executive officer. Coniglio leads more than 500 employees managing the Port, a state special district responsible for more than 14,000 acres of tideland, bay and beaches along 34 waterfront miles in five cities.
Board of Port Commissioners Chair Ann Moore said Coniglio will help commissioners recruit her successor while continuing to oversee Port operations. Coniglio’s retirement date has not yet been set. Port Commission Chair Moore of Chula Vista will lead a search committee that includes Port Commission Vice Chair Michael Zucchet of San Diego and Board Secretary Dan Malcolm of Imperial Beach.
“We’re proud that we chose Randa, the Port’s first female president in its 57-year history. We have our work cut out for us because Randa has done a remarkable job and she will be a tough act to follow. We did a nationwide recruitment in 2014 and we’ll take the same approach now. The Port of San Diego is a regional focus for recreation, tourism and industry, so the people of our region deserve the best,” Moore said.
Coniglio joined the Port as a senior real estate asset manager in 2000, rising in the ranks to become executive vice president for Port operations in 2011, then was elevated to become president and chief executive officer in 2015.
“I intend to work together with my Board to facilitate the smoothest possible transition. I remain 110% committed to the Port until such time as I have retired. I’ve been eligible for retirement for three years. My first grandchild, Franco, is almost four and my daughter, Francesca, has a baby on the way. As much as I love my career, the tug to be a fulltime grandmother has grown too strong to resist,” Coniglio said today. “I’m going to be flexible with my departure date to give the Board of Port Commissioners whatever time they may need to select our next CEO. As soon as my successor is in place, I’ll be ready to move on to the next phase of my life, knowing that the Port is in good hands.”
Under Coniglio’s leadership, the Port has:
- Revitalized Seaport Village after taking over ownership and operation of the bayfront shopping, dining and entertainment center
- Successfully oversaw the development of one of Southern California’s iconic, flagship waterfront and restaurant sites. Portside Pier, with four dining concepts and public access features, opened on the North Embarcadero in July 2020
- Received a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the modernization of the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal. The project was completed in June 2020
- Welcomed the Intercontinental Hotel back to San Diego with its opening on the North Embarcadero in 2018
- Launched its Blue Economy Incubator, a program to support entrepreneurship, foster sustainable aquaculture, and help drive blue tech innovation; the Port became the first U.S. port to receive national accreditation by the American Public Works Association; and the Port was one of the first ports to adopt a Climate Action Plan.
The California legislature created the San Diego Unified Port District in 1964, merging control over public access and maritime activities in Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, National City and San Diego. The seven-member Board of Port Commissioners is selected by city councils from each city in the District’s jurisdiction. Commissioners make policy decisions about land use, enact legislation and regulations and set the budget which is implemented by its three direct employees: the president and CEO, Port Counsel and Port Auditor.