Posted on October 9, 2023
Dina Aryan-Zahlan, a veteran Port of Los Angeles engineer and infrastructure development expert, has been named Deputy Executive Director of Development at the nation’s busiest container port. Aryan-Zahlan replaces Antonio Gioiello, who retired earlier this year.
“Dina is an inspiring leader and dedicated public servant who consistently demonstrates an unwavering commitment to excellence,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “Dina’s promotion is a testament to her hard work, innovative ideas and ability to drive positive change in advancing the Port’s development initiatives.”
Aryan-Zahlan will oversee more than 450 employees in the Construction, Construction and Maintenance, and Engineering Divisions. These divisions are responsible for managing all Port construction contracts, ongoing maintenance of Harbor Department facilities and infrastructure, and oversight of the design, engineering and planning of all Port facilities that support the diverse operations of the Port complex.
Aryan-Zahlan’s career progression at the Port of Los Angeles is truly impressive. Her journey started in 2000 from Construction Manager to Chief Harbor Engineer in 2022, and she has steadily assumed increasing responsibilities. As Chief Harbor Engineer, she spearheaded several critical projects, including an infrastructure program for Port Electrification and Zero-Emission for Port facilities and terminals to Public Access Investment for neighboring harbor communities. Over the past 18 months, the Port’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) has grown from over $980 million to over $2 billion. Moreover, Aryan-Zahlan’s leadership in implementing sustainable practices has earned recognition and awards for the organization’s commitment as a leader in the maritime industry—from the Everport Redevelopment Program to the LA Waterfront Program.
During her tenure at the Port of Los Angeles, Aryan-Zahlan has played a pivotal role in the transformation of cargo terminals, transportation improvements and LA Waterfront development projects. Over two decades, projects overseen by her represent more than $3 billion in combined infrastructure improvements.
Aryan-Zahlan began her 30-year public service career at the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Engineering Harbor District as a Civil Engineering Assistant.
A registered civil engineer in the State of California, Aryan-Zahlan earned her Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering and Executive Master of Leadership degree from the University of Southern California. She serves as the director-at-large for the Los Angeles Chapter of Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS-LA), which named her Woman of the Year in 2022. At the Port of Los Angeles—where women represent 30% of the professional engineering workforce—Aryan-Zahlan is widely recognized for inspiring and mentoring both women and minorities under her leadership.