Robert G. Kanter, Ph.D., is the Managing Director of Environmental Affairs and Planning for the Port of Long Beach, California. He was appointed to his position in March 2007 by the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners. The appointment underscored the ever-increasing importance of environmental affairs in Port operations.
Dr. Kanter joined the Port in 1990. He was named Assistant Planning Director in 1994 and promoted to Director of Planning and Environmental Affairs in 1999. In that role, he was one of the chief architects of the industry-leading Green Port Policy and the San Pedro Bay Ports’ Clean Air Action Plan, the most aggressive environmental programs adopted by any seaport complex in the world.
His more than 30 years of experience in both academia and the private sector have prepared him to oversee the Port’s Environmental Affairs and Planning Bureau, which includes three divisions: Environmental Planning, Master Planning and Transportation Planning. These divisions are involved in implementing the Green Port Policy and Clean Air Action Plan, along with additional environmental planning and regulatory compliance issues; land use and cargo forecasting; as well as transportation planning for truck, rail and transportation infrastructure improvements, all of which are required to meet the demands created by increasing international trade.
Dr. Kanter also serves as the California ports’ representative on federal and state advisory committees, helping to develop guidelines for complying with regulations related to port development and operation. Noteworthy projects have included the closure and environmental cleanup of the former Long Beach Naval Shipyard as well as the development of guidance documents for the cleanup of contaminated sediments in ports and harbors.
He has served as a member of numerous environmental committees, including the National Academy of Sciences Advisory Committee on Coastal Science Policy, the National Research Council Advisory Committee on Ecosystem Health and Research, the South Coast Air Quality Management District AQMP Advisory Committee, the Restoration Advisory Board for the Long Beach Naval Complex closure, national and state Invasive Species Advisory committees and the California Advisory Committee on Enclosed Bays and Estuaries and Inland Surface Waters.
Before joining the Port, Dr. Kanter was a research associate with the Allan Hancock Foundation at the University of Southern California, a senior scientist with MBC Applied Environmental Sciences and corporate vice president with MEC Analytical Systems.
He received his master’s degree and Ph.D. in biology with a focus on marine environments from the University of Southern California.
Dr. Kanter, who has two daughters, is a native of New Jersey, but he grew up in Southern California and currently resides with his wife in Dana Point.
The Port of Long Beach is one of the world’s premier seaports, a trail blazer in goods movement and environmental stewardship. Each year, trade valued at more than $140 billion moves through the Port of Long Beach, supporting more than 316,000 Southern California jobs. With a Green Port Policy guiding all its efforts, the Port is a catalyst for innovative programs that protect the environment.