Oakland Seaport Board Elects New Pres., VPs

From left: Barbara Leslie, Yui Hay Lee and Ces Butner. Image: Port of Oakland.

The president of Oakland, California’s Chamber of Commerce president is taking on an added role leading the Port of Oakland’s governing board. At their mid-July Board meeting, Port Commissioners unanimously selected Barbara Leslie as their new president.

Leslie will lead the seven-member board that sets policy for Oakland’s 93-year-old port authority. She succeeds Commissioner Andreas Cluver who steps down after two years as Board President.

The Board elected architect Yui Hay Lee as First Vice President. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf nominated Commissioner Yee to serve another term. The Oakland City Council ratified Commissioner Yee’s second term to serve on the Port Board at its mid-July meeting. Port of Oakland commissioners serve four-year, staggered terms. Board officers are elected by their fellow commissioners and serve in the role for one year until the next election.

Former Board President Ces Butner was elected Second Vice President. All three officers assumed their new positions in July and will hold their Board positions for the next 12 months.

Commissioner Leslie had been the Board’s First Vice President since 2020. She joined the Board in 2018. In 2014, she became the first woman president and CEO of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce in its 115-year history.

“Barbara is a champion for Oakland’s businesses and residents and we’re fortunate to have her at the Port’s helm,” Cluver said. “I look forward to continue working with Barbara as we grow the Port’s businesses and its role in Oakland civic life.”

The Oakland Board of Port Commissioners oversees the port’s Aviation, Commercial Real Estate, Maritime and Utilities business lines. Leslie takes over at a time when the port is mapping out its strategy for the future.

“The port is an integral part of Oakland’s economic ecosystem,” Leslie said.  “It’s an honor and a humbling responsibility to help shape its future impact on our city.”

Leslie holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and Economics and a Master’s in Public Administration. She has been a resident of Oakland for 25-plus years.