Director of Project Controls

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The Port of Long Beach (Port) is the premier U.S. gateway for trans-Pacific trade and a trailblazer in innovative goods movement, safety, environmental stewardship, and sustainability. Voted “Best West Coast Seaport” by industry peers, the Port handles trade valued at $200 billion annually and supports 2.6 million jobs across the nation, more than 575,000 in Southern California, and more than 50,000 jobs – or 1 in 5 – in Long Beach.

The Port is one of the few U.S. ports that can welcome today’s largest vessels, serving 175 shipping lines with connections to 217 seaports around the world. Goods moving through the Port originate in or are destined for every congressional district in the United States. The Port is the second busiest in the nation, moving more than 8 million container units in 2023.

The Port is on track for a green future, creating the world’s most modern, efficient, and sustainable seaport to enhance the reliable, safe, and sustainable movement of goods while generating thousands of new jobs. As part of an industry-leading multi-billion capital improvement program, the Port is set to break ground this summer on a massive rail yard expansion, which is expected to streamline operations and significantly curb emissions from trucking; continue to modernize its marine terminals, waterways, roadways, and supporting infrastructure; and transition to zero-emissions operations by 2030 funded in part by a record-setting $792 million in grant funding received in 2023 alone and revenue generated from the operation of its marine terminals.


Led by the five-member Board of Harbor Commissioners and CEO, Mario Cordero, the Port of Long Beach prides itself on its culture of excellent customer service and strong relationships with industry, community, environmental advocates, partner agencies, and especially, staff.

An international maritime industry leader, Mario served on the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners and the Federal Maritime Commission, as appointed by President Obama, before becoming CEO of the Port in 2017, where he leads more than 600 staff with a 2024 budget of $636 million. Inclusiveness and collaboration are hallmarks of Mario’s leadership style, and due to his Port and FMC leadership experience.

The Director of Project Controls will join a dynamic team led by Sean A. Gamette, P.E., Managing Director – Engineering Services Bureau, and Suzanne Pleazia, Senior Director and Chief Harbor Engineer. With over 45 years of combined service at the Port, Sean and Suzanne oversee the Engineering Services Bureau’s six divisions: Construction Management, Design, Maintenance, Program Management, Survey, and Project Controls. The leadership style and career trajectories of Sean and Suzanne exemplify the Port’s commitment to inclusivity, collaboration and professional development across the organization.


  • Salary – $210,000 – $255,000.
  • Transportation allowance of $550 per month.
  • Performance incentive: Annual Pay for Performance incentive of up to $3,000 is awarded based on individual and team performance, and availability of funds.
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance.
  • Life and disability insurance.
  • CalPERS retirement and deferred compensation.
  • PTO: 40 hours paid executive leave, 2 weeks paid vacation, 12 paid sick days, 11 paid holidays, 4 paid personal holidays.
  • Paid parental leave and bereavement leave.
  • Education reimbursement, Public Student Loan Forgiveness program, and 529 college savings plan.


This position is a hybrid role based at 415 W. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90802. Staff are expected to be on-site Monday to Wednesday, with the option to telecommute on Thursday and Friday, depending on operational needs.


The Port of Long Beach (Port) is looking for a skilled and collaborative leader to join and lead the Project Controls Division in the Engineering Bureau at the Port of Long Beach, California. This is an opportunity to join a diverse, specialized, and experienced team that supports and serves all other engineering divisions, helping them manage and oversee the scope, schedule, forecast, and budget for the Port’s capital improvement projects. This is a leadership role, and the ideal candidate will bring a background in project delivery, a thoughtful and encouraging leadership style, be a strong communicator, and welcome and support new ideas. This is an exciting time to join the Port. With significant projects in the pipeline, the Director of Project Controls will play a substantial role in the ongoing success of the Port and the economic impact of the region.

The mission of the Project Controls Division is to provide scheduling, estimating, cost management, related data analysis, reporting, and project management system development to support financially responsible and timely delivery of Port projects and programs.  As a result of the successful accomplishment of this mission and revenue generated through the operation of its infrastructure to move cargo, the Port consistently has one of the largest capital programs of any other port in the nation.  For Fiscal Year 2024, it is $250M, and well over $2 billion is forecasted over the next decade. The Director of Project Controls is a key position, responsible for overseeing all project control functions ensuring consistency of execution across all the Port projects. The Director will also manage the Project Control Division’s $3.6 million operating budget. Responsibilities range from strategy development to maintenance of project schedules, budgets, procedures, guidelines, and tools. Leading a total team of 18 staff, the Director currently has five direct reports: 1) Senior Secretary, 2) Port Communications Specialist, 3) Senior Estimator, 4) Manager, Project Controls x 2. The Director provides crucial guidance for the delivery of projects and programs to the entire Engineering Services Bureau.

Core values for a candidate to be successful in this role include:

  • In-depth learning: Take time to thoroughly grasp the Port’s operations and mission. Build a solid understanding of the Port, the Engineering Services Bureau, and how the Project Controls Division impacts the overall operation.
  • Team building and collaboration: Establish trusting relationships with peers and the Project Controls Division to maintain a collaborative network, enhance overall efficiency, and maintain stability in the excellent work that is already being done.


  • Serve as the Port’s expert on project control methods, procedures, systems, and development of historical information, and procurement processes.
  • Provide direct and indirect supervision of all project control staff, establishing goals and objectives, measuring performance, and ensuring the delivery of effective, customer-oriented services.
  • Prepare the division’s annual personnel and non-personnel budgets. In conjunction with the Program Management Division, prepare the Engineering Services Bureau’s annual capital program budget and 10-year forecast.
  • Lead division meetings and identify and assign staff to project control positions consistent with individual abilities and development needs. Prioritize activities and goals to ensure deadlines are met.
  • Develop, review, analyze, and maintain project budgets, estimates, schedules, and cash flows.
  • Develop, maintain, and report on the Port’s Capital Program Resiliency Plan.
  • Develop, review, analyze, and maintain a look ahead tool used to identify projects as potential grant opportunities. Support grant management through the implementation and monitoring of grant milestones within project schedules.
  • Ensure the quality and consistency of project control work produced by the division or project teams.
  • Develop reporting methods and generate project reports requested or needed by other divisions of the Engineering Services Bureau, the Port’s executive team, and the Harbor Commission.
  • Serve as an internal resource for all divisions of the Engineering Services Bureau.
  • Assess the division’s need for resources and when necessary, procure professional project controls services to shave peaks in workload and/or for specialized project controls expertise not available within the division.


  • Minimum Qualifications:
    • Education: Bachelor’s degree in engineering, construction management, or relevant technical degree. Experience offering specific and substantial preparation for the duties of the position may be substituted for the required education on a year-for-year basis.
    • Experience: A minimum of ten (10) years of increasingly responsible public or private sector experience in project controls to include the development, customization, and maintenance of project management systems.
    • Supervisory Experience: A minimum of five (5) years serving in a supervisory or managerial capacity with oversight of staff engaged in the development, analyses, and maintenance of project schedules, estimates, budgets, and related reports in support of an engineering organization and its project managers.
  • Demonstrated project controls experience in a management role, supervising staff in the development, analysis, and maintenance of project schedules, estimates, budgets, and reporting.
  • Prior experience working within or with public agencies preferred, and/or brings knowledge and understanding of procurement processes, compliance, and complex grants and funding sources.
  • Experience managing multi-discipline business and project service teams on large-scale capital projects, with expertise in control systems, planning, cost management, and earned value analysis.
  • Strong hands-on leadership background in complex organizations, adept at creating and maintaining effective partnerships with individuals from diverse backgrounds and areas of technical expertise.
  • Outstanding business and technical judgment, high energy, and a passion for high-quality service.
  • Ability to handle multiple projects and priorities simultaneously, work independently, and meet tight deadlines.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral; exceptionally well-developed listening skills.
  • Exhibits the highest level of ethical traits and maintains a collaborative work style with impeccable integrity.


To learn more about this opportunity, please join the Port of Long Beach team for a virtual information session on Thursday, March 14th at 5 pm PDT via Microsoft Teams. This is an excellent opportunity to hear from the hiring managers and learn more about this opportunity with the Port. This is an interactive session and candidates will have the opportunity to ask questions.  Click here to join the meeting or call in (audio only) +1 323-451-1087, Phone Conference ID: 817 407 829#.

Round one interviews will be held virtually on Thursday, April 4, 2024. The second-round interviews will be held in person on Wednesday, April 10, 2024. Candidates must be available on both dates.


Sarah Thompson, Senior Director, Blair Search Partners
1855 1st Ave., Suite 300, San Diego, CA 92101