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Meet the CEO of Strong Port Strategies

Lauren Brand, founder and CEO of Strong Port Strategies, is an internationally recognized thought leader on marine and intermodal transportation. In fact, Lauren:  

  • Was named 2022 Person of the Year by the National Maritime Safety Association (NMSA)

  • Drafted rules and regulations for multiple Congressionally authorized Federal programs  

  • Created the first ever ‘marine terminal typology’ descriptors to explain to the legislative and executive branches of government the role of ports in regional economies and why multiple ports are a necessity

  • Is considered by the industry to be “multilingual,” speaking and understanding plain English, governmentese and the language of logistics

  • Influenced changes in national policy towards ports by introducing a new perspective on how ports and intermodal connectors work together

  • Built the first ever searchable Congressional district map with 300 ports on the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts, the inland waterways and in certain U.S. territories

  • LinkedIn

Help is here for $1.2T in assistance 

Congress passed 1096 pages of legislation with 25 programs and over $1.5T in assistance. After reviewing more than 1,000 grant applications and visiting over 100 ports, we have firsthand knowledge of the Federal grant process and the opportunities available for port, terminal and intermodal projects.

Experience and credentials

President of the National Association of Waterfront Employers (NAWE): Led the advocacy efforts for issues impacting the marine terminal and stevedoring industries, as well as the national transportation system.

Executive Director of the National Maritime Safety Association (NMSA): Supported efforts to raise awareness about safety and health matters for all workers at marine terminals across the country.


Associate Administrator of Ports & Waterways, U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT): Led a highly skilled, innovative team focused on integrating the nation’s ports into transportation system planning; ensuring port infrastructure and intermodal connections will be capable of supporting future freight needs; facilitated growth in the transport of goods and people on navigable waterways – including inland rivers, Great Lakes, and coastal waterways. 


Team Lead for Ports Planning & Engagement, USDOT: Worked with industry leaders to create port planning guidelines and a best practices toolbox designed for investment quality development projects for Port Authorities, State DOTs, Metropolitan Planning Organizations and other public entities. 


Director for the Office of Marine Highways and Passenger Services, USDOT: Led national effort to expand use of maritime services and incorporate marine highway services into intermodal logistics planning.


Ports Team Lead on the USDOT’s TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Team from 2009-2014: The program was created in the 2009 Recovery Act, to invest in road, rail, transit and port projects that promise to achieve national objectives of safety, reliability and sustainability.


Director of the South Atlantic Gateway, USDOT: Supported the development of port and intermodal infrastructure to facilitate trade in South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


Senior Director Business Development at the Canaveral Port Authority: Helped to transform a niche cargo port into a global cruise port; responsible for business development and tenant leasing.


Advisory Board Member at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy 


U.S. Practice Director and Worldwide Coordinator for Arthur Andersen & Co.: Developed the International Trade-Customs Practice

Import Manager for Hitachi Metals America, NYC


Held a U.S. Customhouse Broker License, voluntarily withdrawn

Earned Professional Port Manager Certification from the American Association of Port Authorities 


Degree in Transportation from Niagara University


“I’ve worked as a port tenant, at a port authority, a marine terminal operator, a government leader overseeing maritime and transportation infrastructure programs, and as a lobbyist and technical expert working with Congress. Ports and marine terminals are my passion.”

Lauren Brand

Founder and CEO, Strong Port Strategies

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