Geraldine Knatz, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, announced Thursday that she will retire at the end of the year.

“I thank Dr. Knatz for her service to Los Angeles,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “My agenda for the Port is focused on maximizing its economic impact and minimizing its environmental impact to build stronger neighborhoods in the Harbor area and across Los Angeles.”

Knatz was named executive director in 2005 by former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and took over the position in January 2006. She is the first female to head the nation’s busiest port, encompassing 7,500 acres on 43 miles of waterfront.

Before assuming her role at the Port of L.A., Knatz was managing director at the Port of Long Beach, a post she held since 1999. She served as that port’s planning director for 11 years prior to becoming managing director.

Garcetti promised during his election campaign that all general managers will have to reapply for their jobs. The mayor’s office said Knatz did reapply, but declined to provide further information about the review.

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