Inside Perspective on the San Francisco Waterfront and its Impact Beyond the Bay Area

Join us for a conversation with Elaine Forbes, the Port of San Francisco's executive director. Forbes will shed light on Port strategy and managing the 7.5. miles of San Francisco's waterfront, and its impact on the economic vitality of the Bay Area and beyond.

About the Speaker

Elaine Forbes is the executive director of the Port of San Francisco. She is a passionate champion and advocate for the San Francisco waterfront. An innovative and compassionate leader, she has provided a steady hand at the helm during a period of great change and a global pandemic. Mayor Edwin M. Lee appointed Director Forbes in 2016.

Forbes is leading the Port and public through a waterfront renaissance. Central to her work is ensuring that all new developments on the waterfront align with key Port objectives of economic recovery, equity, and resilience. Due to her leadership, neighborhood communities at Pier 70, Mission Rock, and 88 Broadway provide more open space, new affordable homes, and robust climate change measures to ensure the new developments will serve future generations. She secured a $425 million bond from San Francisco voters, and additional resources from agencies, to create a safer and more resilient Embarcadero. As the guardian of the public’s historic resources and open space, she is addressing the capital deferred maintenance of the historic Embarcadero piers.

Deeply committed to an open and accessible waterfront, Forbes has expanded open space and bay access for the public. She has overseen the addition of several acres of open space, creating more public access to nature and the bay. One of the signature park openings is Crane Cove Park, a seven-acre southern bayfront park that contributes to and expands the Port’s necklace of public open spaces along San Francisco’s iconic waterfront.


Linda Calhoun


An International Relations Member-led Forum program. Forums at the Club are organized and run by volunteer programmers who are members of The Commonwealth Club, and they cover a diverse range of topics. Learn more about our Forums.

Speaker photo courtesy the Port of San Francisco.

Image - Elaine Forbes

Elaine Forbes

Executive Director, Port of San Francisco

Image - Linda Calhoun

Linda Calhoun

Chair, International Relations Member-led Forum—Moderator