Commissioners approve appointment of Chief Operating Officer
Port of Long Beach Executive Director Richard D. Steinke announced on August 7, that the Board of Harbor Commissioners approved the appointment of retired Coast Guard Rear Admiral Kevin J. Eldridge to the newly created position of Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer.
As Deputy Executive Director, Eldridge will be the Port’s No. 2 executive.
‘Kevin brings three decades of US Coast Guard experience in a wide range of leadership, financial management, technical and operational positions,’ said Steinke. ‘His background, with significant maritime leadership positions and relevant experience in key areas, makes him an excellent fit for our management team and the needs of our organization.’
Eldridge retired on June 30, 2006, after 32 years with the Coast Guard, culminating his national service as Commander of the 11th Coast Guard District. The 11th District is based at the San Francisco Bay city of Alameda, and covers California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah and includes the offshore waters from the California/Oregon border to South America.
He has extensive experience in marine safety and security, pollution prevention and response, port operations, vessel operations, crisis management, congressional liaison and public affairs. He has managed large operational budgets and led staffs as large as 5,000 people.
Eldridge has served as the Assistant Commandant for Governmental and Public Affairs at Coast Guard headquarters in Washington during 9/11 and the two challenging and hectic years following the terrorist attacks. Earlier in his Coast Guard career, he specialized in the safe transportation of hazardous materials by vessel. As the lead chemical engineer for the Coast Guard, he led many US delegations to the United Nation’s International Maritime Organization in London, negotiating international standards and regulations for moving dangerous cargoes by vessel.
Eldridge has had three tours of sea duty, culminating in cutter command. He also was the Commanding Officer of the Houston-Galveston Marine Safety Office and the Houston Vessel Traffic Service. From there, he was transferred to New Orleans, assuming the duties of Chief of Operations for the Eighth District, heading search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, boating safety and aids to navigation missions.
Eldridge is a 1974 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in ocean engineering. He also holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan. He is also a graduate of the Capstone Executive Development Course at the National Defense University.
The Port’s new position of deputy executive director is part of a reorganization and strategic plan that was approved by the Board of Harbor Commissioners earlier this year.