Brigadier General Verle Johnston Unanimously Confirmed for promotion to Major General in the New York Air National Guard; James Rubin, Rossana Rosado and Scott Rechler Unanimously Confirmed to Port Authority Board
Albany, NY (June 6, 2012)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the State Senate unanimously confirmed the nominations of Brigadier General Verle Johnston to the rank of Major General and Rossana Rosado, James Rubin and Scott Rechler to the Board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ).
"The unanimous confirmation by the State Senate of Brigadier General Verle Johnston to Major General and Commander of the New York Air National Guard, as well as Rossana Rosado, James Rubin, and Scott Rechler to the Board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, illustrates once again the experience and strength we are bringing into New York government," Governor Cuomo said. "Major General Johnston has served his country for over thirty years in the United States Air Force, and Rossana, James, and Scott have decades of expertise in both the private and public sectors. I commend Major General Johnston, Rossana, James, and Scott for their dedication to the state of New York. I thank Majority Leader Skelos and Senators Fuschillo, Ball, Addabbo, Dilan, DeFrancisco and Kreuger for their speedy and comprehensive review.
Senator Greg Ball, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs, said, "The Governor could not have made a better pick. General Johnston is an impressive leader with stellar credentials and New Yorkers can rest assured that the enormous responsibility given to this great man rests in enormously capable hands."
Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee said, "The Port Authority needs to continue down the path of reform by improving its efficiency and financial management. Scott Rechler, Rossana Rosado, and James Rubin all share that vision and are committed to building on recent reforms to make the Port Authority more accountable. I commend Governor Cuomo for submitting these nominations and look forward to working with Mr. Rechler, Ms. Rosado, and Mr. Rubin in the future."
Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs, said, "I am more than pleased to lend my support to the confirmation of Brigadier General Verle Johnston as Major General of the New York State Air National Guard. His distinguished service career in active duty over the last three decades make him the indisputable choice to secure the readiness and training of the 6000 Airmen in the five Air Wings of the Eastern Air Defense Sector, and the other units."
Senator Martin Malavé Dilan, Ranking Member of the Senate Transportation Committee said, "I commend Governor Cuomo for nominating such a qualified slate of individuals to serve as Port Authority of New York and New Jersey commissioners. Each nominee brings a unique set of skills and professional experience to the table that will contribute greatly to the continued success of the authority."
Major General Patrick Murphy, the Adjutant General of New York said, "Verle Johnston has had a long and distinguished career as an officer in the New York Air National Guard. He has earned this promotion and I look forward to working with him as he continues to serve our state and
nation in his latest capacity as commander of the country's largest Air Guard."
In addition, Governor Cuomo today announced that the Senate unanimously confirmed Brigadier General Verle Johnston's promotion from a one-star Brigadier General to a two-star Major General.
Brigadier General Verle Johnston said, "I wish to thank Governor Cuomo and the ladies and gentlemen of the New York State Senate for the trust they have shown in me. I look forward to continued service to our state and nation as the commander of the exceptional men and women of the New York Air National Guard."
Brigadier General Johnston is the currently the Assistant Adjutant General-Air, New York National Guard and is a command pilot with more than 7,500 flying hours.
Previously, from 2007 to 2012, Brigadier General Johnston served as commander of 105th Airlift Wing, Stewart Air National Guard Base, Newburgh, N.Y. As commander, Brigadier General Johnston directed the conversion of the Wing from 13 C-5A aircraft to 8 C-17 aircraft. He was responsible for the combat readiness of assigned units through the revision of training programs and ensured the availability of necessary equipment and supplies.
In the Air National Guard, Brigadier General Johnston has flown numerous aircraft as an instructor and evaluator pilot. He has served in command as Operations Group Commander, Logistics Group Commander and Vice Wing Commander. In addition, he served as an Air Expeditionary Group Commander in Antarctica for Operation Deep Freeze.
Brigadier General Johnston received his commission in 1974 as a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He served 6 years on active duty primarily flying KC-135A aircraft in the Strategic Air Command. He also received his MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his J.D., cum laude, from Albany Law School.
As Commander of the New York Air National Guard, Brigadier General Johnston is responsible to the Adjutant General for the readiness and training of the 6000 Airmen in the five Air Wings-- the 105th Airlift Wing, the 106th Rescue Wing, the 107th Airlift Wing, the 109th Airlift Wing and the 174th Fighter Wing-- the Eastern Air Defense Sector, and the other units.
The New York Air National Guard is the largest Air National Guard in the United States.
Rossana Rosado said, “I thank Governor Cuomo for appointing me to the Port Authority’s Board and the members of the New York State Senate for confirming me. I am committed to working with my new colleagues on the Board to help the Port Authority carry out its all-important mission of managing the state’s most vital transportation assets in ways that help grow New York’s economy and support job creation.”
Since 1999, Ms. Rosado has been Publisher and CEO of El Diario/La Prensa, the oldest Spanish-language daily newspaper in the Northeast and is the first woman to hold the position.
Previously, in 1992, Ms. Rosado joined the Dinkins administration as Vice-President for Public Affairs of the Health and Hospitals Corporation for the City of New York, managing over 22 municipal hospitals and health care facilities.
Starting in 1988, Ms. Rosado worked with WPIX-TV as a producer of public affairs programming. She was the sole producer of the daily public affairs program, Best Talk in Town, and was later promoted to Public Service Director, responsible for the creation and placement of hundreds of public service announcements on air. While at WPIX-TV, Ms. Rosado garnered several prestigious awards, including an Emmy for her public service campaign Care for Kids. She also won the New York State Broadcaster’s Award and the Folio Award for programming geared to the Long Island community.
Ms. Rosado graduated from Pace University in White Plains, New York, where she received her B.A. in journalism. She is also a graduate of Adlai E. Stevenson High School in the Bronx.
James P. Rubin said, “I am grateful to both Governor Cuomo and the State Senate for the confidence they have shown in me with this appointment to the Port Authority Board. The agency has been a driving force for economic activity and job creation in New York State and the Port region throughout its 90-plus year history. I look forward to working with the Board to identify new and innovative ways to ensure that the Port Authority’s critical infrastructure delivers the maximum benefit for New York’s economy and residents.”
James P. Rubin is a commentator and lecturer on U.S. foreign policy and world affairs. Mr. Rubin is currently President of the Atlantic Partnership and serves as Counselor on Competitiveness and International Affairs at Empire State Development.
In 2011, Mr. Rubin served as Executive Editor of Bloomberg View, the opinion section of Bloomberg News. From 2008 to 2011 he was an adjunct professor of international affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Prior to his work with Bloomberg News and Columbia University, Mr. Rubin worked in London as a broadcaster, professor, commentator, and financial communications strategist. From 2005 to 2007, he was international news anchor and World Affairs Commentator for SKY news.
Mr. Rubin also served under President Clinton as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs and Chief Spokesman for the State Department from 1997 to 2000. He was also a top policy adviser to Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and acted as a special negotiator during the Kosovo War to secure the demobilization of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
Previously, he served as Professional Staff Member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and Senior Foreign Policy Adviser to Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr., from 1989 to 1993.
Mr. Rubin received a B.A. in political science and a M.A. in International Affairs from Columbia University.
Scott Rechler said, "As a member of the Port Authority’s new leadership team, I have seen first-hand that the Board has already made tremendous strides in implementing significant reforms agency wide. While it’s a good start, much more remains to be done, and I look forward to continuing to be a part of that important work along with my fellow board members. We will continue to be vigilant in how we spend public dollars to maximize the impact on the regional economy in the most cost effective and responsible way."
Mr. Rechler is the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of RXR Realty LLC (“RXR”), a leading real estate operating and investment company in the New York Tri-State area. RXR is a vertically integrated private real estate company with expertise in investment management, property management, development, design, construction, leasing and financing. The company is one of the largest owners, managers, and developers in the new York Tri-State area with interests in approximately $4.5 billion of assets, comprised of 105 operating properties containing approximately 17.2 million square feet.
The multi-billion dollar RXR was formed subsequent to the sale of Reckson Associates Realty Corp. (“Reckson”) to SL Green in January 2007, one of the largest public real estate management buyouts in REIT history. Mr. Rechler’s vision and leadership guided Reckson, where he served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board during its years of dynamic growth throughout New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, Westchester and Connecticut, overseeing in excess of $6 billion in acquisitions and developments and managing over 20 million square feet of commercial property in New York’s Tri-State Area.
Mr. Rechler was at Reckson from 1989 until January 2007 and during his tenure served as President, Chief Executive Officer, and member of Reckson’s Board of Directors since its formation, as well as the Chairman of the Board’s Executive Committee. Mr. Rechler was the architect of Reckson’s successful IPO in 1995.
Mr. Rechler is a graduate of Clark University. He also earned a Masters of Science degree in Real Estate at the New York University Schack Institute.
Governor Cuomo also announced the unanimous confirmation by the State Senate of the following:
- Matthew Rand-State Board of Real Property Tax Services.