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Former Commissioner Mario Cordero

Counsel: Rachit J. Choksi

Commissioner Mario Cordero

Commissioner Mario Cordero of Long Beach, California, was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as a Commissioner of the Federal Maritime Commission beginning on June 3, 2011. President Obama then designated him to serve as Chairman of the Commission on April 1, 2013. He was reconfirmed by the Senate on October 8, 2015, for a term set to expire on June 30, 2019. He served as Chairman until January 23, 2017. Mr. Cordero brings with him over thirty years of private legal practice and decades of public service – including serving eight years on the Board of Harbor Commissioners for the Port of Long Beach (POLB).

Prior to serving at the federal level, Mr. Cordero served as a Commissioner on the Harbor Commission at the Port of Long Beach, to which he was appointed by Mayor Beverly O’Neill in 2003. While a POLB Harbor Commissioner, Mr. Cordero spearheaded the Port of Long Beach’s pioneering Green Port Policy, a policy formalized in 2005 and aimed at reconciling economic growth and environmental stewardship to achieve long-term, sustainable port development. He also served as President of the Harbor Commission.

Concurrent with his leadership positions on the POLB, Commissioner Cordero served on the Executive Board for the American Association of Port Authorities’ (AAPA) Latin American delegation. In this role, he led efforts to develop policies for greater cooperation, increased trade, and joint growth across the combined North American and Latin American footprint.

Under his leadership as Chairman, the Federal Maritime Commission underwent monumental change and received accolades from the Administration, Congress, and, most importantly, stakeholders, for its attentive and careful approach to facilitating solutions to several paramount issues. These issues included severe port congestion, concerns arising from container weight rules that affected cargo movement, new and unsubstantiated chassis fee proposals that affected the largest port complex in the United States, management of the PierPass program on the West Coast, the diligent review of alliance agreements, and the international bankruptcy of South Korean carrier Hanjin.

Notably, in March 2016, during his term as Chairman, Mr. Cordero was invited to testify before the United States Senate regarding the state of the United States maritime industry.

As Chairman, he prioritized the internal goals of diversifying the workforce, improving employee morale, and modernizing agency technology for the benefit of employees and the industry. As a result of these efforts, the Commission received an award for being the Most Improved Small Agency in 2015, as part of rankings released by the Partnership for Public Service and Deloitte. The rankings are based on data from the Office of Personnel Management’s Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) and provided rankings in 14 categories. The Commission achieved positive gains in all categories, the most significant being in Effective Leadership (Empowerment), Strategic Leadership, Training and Development, and Support for Diversity. The recent 2016 FEVS results again indicated increased employee satisfaction.

Further, during 2013-2017, Mr. Cordero was recognized for his efforts in assisting industry stakeholders to accomplish their goals. In May 2014, he was the recipient of the Stanley T. Olafson Award, presented by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce to individuals who have advanced world trade and international relations. He also received the Connie Award from the Containerization & Intermodal Institute in September 2015, an award given to those who have contributed to the evolution of the containerized shipping industry. Further, in February 2016, he was named Person of the Year by the New York/New Jersey Foreign Freight Forwarders and Brokers Association. Finally, in August 2016, Mr. Cordero received the prestigious Malcom McLean Award from the Association of Bi-State Motor Carriers, given in recognition of his efforts to be inclusive, encourage open dialogue on key issues affecting intermodal commerce, and put forth forward-thinking initiatives, which facilitated progress and partnership amongst the stakeholders at the Port of New York & New Jersey.

Mr. Cordero has taught political science at Long Beach City College. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Political Science from California State University, Long Beach, and his law degree from the University of Santa Clara.

Related News

May 09, 2017
Commissioner Mario Cordero Testifies to Congress Regarding Maritime Transportation: Opportunities and Challenges for the Maritime Administration and Federal Maritime Commission
Commissioner Mario Cordero testified before the Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security Subcommittee
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Apr 15, 2017
Commissioner Cordero Leaving FMC to Serve as Executive Director of Port of Long Beach
Commissioner Cordero will depart the Commission on Friday, May 12th.
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Mar 21, 2017
Commissioner Cordero’s Keynote Address at Capital Link’s 11th Annual International Shipping & Offshore Forum
Commissioner Cordero was invited to deliver the Keynote Address during the maritime finance organization’s annual forum in New York.
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Feb 02, 2017
Commissioner Cordero’s Remarks to NY/NJ Foreign Freight Forwarders & Brokers Association
Commissioner Cordero was invited to speak as a former recipient of the organization’s Person of the Year award. It was the organization’s 100th anniversary.
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Jan 13, 2017
FMC Chairman Discusses Ports, Shipping, Maritime Infrastructure, and Port Efficiencies with Key Members of Congress
Key Members of Congress interested in ports, shipping, and infrastructure hosted Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Mario Cordero for a conversation yesterday about trends in these sectors and their contributions to the American economy.
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Dec 06, 2016
Chairman Cordero Statement to AAPA XXV Latin American Congress of Ports
Chairman Cordero told the audience at AAPA XXV Latin American Congress of Ports that efficient ports are drivers of economic development that can help build value chains, and be beneficial in attracting business from ocean carriers seeking gateways with well developed landside transportation connections.​
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Nov 04, 2016
Cordero Addresses World Shipping Summit 2016 in Shanghai
Chairman Cordero traveled to Shanghai, China where he addressed the World Shipping Summit, and met with U.S. and Chinese government officials, think tanks, industry groups, and companies delving into issues challenging the carrier industry.
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Oct 28, 2016
Copenhagen Event is Forum for Addressing Issues & Future of Container Shipping
Chairman Cordero travelled to Copenhagen, Denmark to participate in the Danish Maritime Forum
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Oct 12, 2016
Chairman Cordero's TOC Remarks
Chairman Mario Cordero attended the TOC Americas Conference in Cancun, Mexico where he spoke about the benefits of increasing trade between the United States and Latin America.
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Oct 12, 2016
Discurso de Chairman Cordero en TOC Americas
Chairman Cordero habló de las ventajas de la expansión del comercio entre E.U. y América Latina en la conferencia TOC Americas.
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Commissioner Cordero Being Sworn In

PPS BestPlaces 2016

FMC Recognized as 2015 Most Improved Small Agency

Chairman Cordero accepts the Person of the Year Award from the New York New Jersey Foreign Freight Forwarders and Broker’s Association

Chairman Cordero visits the Port of LA to view megaship Benjamin Franklin with Representative Hahn

Chairman Mario Cordero accepting the 2015 Connie Award

Chairman Cordero and Mr. Rich Dines during the 2015 Pulse of the Ports

cordero ostsmay2015

Chairman Cordero Addresses the Ocean Shipping & Trade Summit


Chairman Cordero and members of the MEC presenting the 2015 Chairman's Earth Day Award to Crowley Maritime Corporation is William A. Pennella, Vice Chairman and Executive Vice President.

Chairman Cordero spoke at Valparaiso’s Sustainable Ports Seminar on May 8, 2014, in Valparaiso, Chile

National Maritime Day 2014
From Left to Right: Paul N. Jaenichen, Sr, Acting Maritime Administrator; FMC Commissioner, William P. Doyle; General Paul Selva; FMC Chairman Mario Cordero

Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride at the White House
From Left to Right: Commissioner William Doyle, Sgt. Chuck A. Bell, PFC Cameron W. Stanley, Chairman Mario Cordero

Chairman Cordero Speaking at NCBFAA 2014

Chairman Cordero Addresses 40th Annual NCBFAA Conference

Chairman Cordero Addresses Pulse of the Ports Peak Season Forecast Conference

Chairman Cordero Addressing IAPH

Chairman Cordero with APP President Richard Dodge