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Port of Oakland appoints first female Port Attorney

[ December 23, 2019   //   ]

For the first time in its 92-year history, a woman has been named Port Attorney at the Port of Oakland. The Port’s governing Board last night appointed Michele Heffes as the head of its in-house Legal Department.

Ms. Heffes succeeds Danny Wan, the prior Port Attorney, who became the Port’s Executive Director Nov. 14. A 31-year Port veteran, Ms. Heffes had been Interim Port Attorney while the Board sought Mr. Wan’s replacement.

Ms. Heffes advises the Port on legal affairs that arise in the conduct of its Maritime, Aviation and Commercial Real Estate businesses. Her responsibilities include legal practice areas from litigation, real estate and labor to environmental compliance and insurance coverage.
“I’m honored to serve as the Port Attorney for the preeminent public institution in the Bay Area,” said Ms. Heffes. “I look forward to working with the Board and executive management team in fulfilling the Port’s strategic priorities in a socially responsible manner.”

Ms. Heffes holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. She joined the Port in 1988 as an environmental scientist, became a Deputy Port Attorney in 1993, and held other positions in the Port Attorney’s Office including Assistant Port Attorney. She has a law degree from the University of San Francisco.

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