Port of Oakland Chooses 1st Latina Engineering Director

Emilia Sánchez. Photo via Port of Oakland.

Engineering project manager Emilia Sánchez has been named the Port of Oakland’s new director of engineering, becoming the first woman and Latina to take on the leadership role, the port announced Oct. 12.

Born and raised in Oakland, Sánchez has a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from UC Berkeley and a Master of Science degree in construction management from Cal State East Bay. She has a California Professional Engineering license and a Project Management Professional Certificate and is a member of the Society of Women Engineers and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.

Before joining the port in February, Sánchez worked at Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) for more than 10 years in various roles. During her tenure at BART, she oversaw the Hayward Maintenance Complex development and the BART Headquarters Tenant Improvement in Oakland and worked on the Earthquake Safety Program and the Oakland Airport Connector.

“Ms. Sánchez brings to the port’s director of engineering position a depth of experience combining technical engineering background with expertise in managing multi-discipline, cross-functional, stakeholder engaging teams and projects,” according to the port announcement. “Her integrated skill sets are ideal for delivering the variety of projects the port will undertake in its transition to a zero emissions port.”

Sánchez said she is excited to oversee projects that deliver cleaner operations that protect the environment and improve the port.

“I look forward to drawing upon my experience in managing large projects with my varied educational foundation and a personal commitment to the community,” she said.

By Karen Robes Meeks