Brandy D. Christian has been named the new Chief Operating Officer of the Port of New Orleans by President and CEO Gary LaGrange, succeeding Patrick J. Gallwey, who will retire March 1 after 34 years with the Port. Christian comes to the Port after 14 years with the Port of San Diego serving for the past five years as vice president, strategy and business development.
During her tenure with California’s fourth largest cargo port, Christian was the driving force behind securing major accounts for the cruise and cargo business lines at the Port. She was also instrumental in significantly improving operational processes and reducing costs for the public agency.
“Christian brings a wealth of experience to New Orleans,” LaGrange said. “Her background in strategic initiatives, civic relations, and cruise and cargo development will serve the Port well for many years to come. We welcome her aboard.”
The Board conducted a national search for its new COO and Christian rose to the top, LaGrange said.
In San Diego, Christian provided the executive team and the Board of Port Commissioners with organizational-wide strategic guidance and also led a wide variety of business development initiatives related to cruise development, maritime import and export opportunities and industrial leases. She also oversaw several departments including maritime, government and civic relations, and marketing and communications. She began her career with the Port of San Diego in 2000 as the public/tenant liaison for the executive offices and was promoted in 2002 to Director of Strategic Management Services before becoming vice president in 2009.
Prior to joining the Port of San Diego, Christian worked with KPMG Consulting, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and Fleishman-Hilliard Inc. Christian earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Arizona and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Southern California. She is a Certified Port Executive and Commercial Investment Manager candidate.
Christian’s tenure with the Port of New Orleans will begin January 26 and will include a transition period with Mr. Gallwey, who will retire after serving 34 years in various roles at the Port of New Orleans.
“Pat’s contributions to the Port cannot be overstated,” said Gary LaGrange, Port President and CEO. “His steadfast leadership and institutional knowledge helped guide the Port to record results. He has been a staunch supporter of the entire maritime community and economic development initiatives in the New Orleans area and throughout Louisiana for many years. He will be sorely missed by all who have had the privilege of working with him.”
Gallwey’s distinguished career with the Port began in 1980 when he established the Industrial Development Department. He served in leadership positions in marketing and business development, planning and engineering, and executive management. He oversaw the planning of the Port’s terminal expansion projects beginning in 1990 resulting in the construction of container terminals on the Port’s riverfront, planning for the Tchoupitoulas Corridor, downtown riverfront and cruise terminals and various transportation projects. He has served as Chief Operating Officer for eight years where he oversees the Port’s day-to-day activities including administering and managing the operating budgets, which has resulted in consistent positive net income. He represents the Port on the Transportation Policy Committee of the Regional Planning Commission, served on the committee tasked to update Louisiana’s Coastal Restoration Master Plan, served as president of the Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association and served as president of the Ports Association of Louisiana from 2012-2014.