August 1, 2017
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo and Governor Christie Announce New Leadership at the Port Authority

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Governor Chris Christie today announced the appointments of Kevin O'Toole as Chairman of the Board of Commissioners and Rick Cotton as Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and Jersey.

Governor Cuomo and Governor Christie thanked Executive Director Foye and Chairman Degnan for their leadership during their service at the Authority. At the direction of Governor Cuomo and Governor Christie, one of the first priorities for Mr. O'Toole and Mr. Cotton will be to resume the search for a new Port Authority CEO. Mr. O'Toole and Mr. Cotton will assume their new positions following the next meeting of the Board of Commissioners.

"Pat Foye has done an exceptional job serving the Port Authority with bold leadership and a tireless commitment to bettering the transportation infrastructure of New York and New Jersey, and I wish him the very best," Governor Cuomo said. "With major infrastructure projects across the region underway, including the new JFK and LaGuardia Airports, the Port Authority has unprecedented momentum, and Rick Cotton has the experience and tenacity to continue moving these transformative projects ahead and lead the organization into the future. I thank Rick for his exceptional work in my office and look forward to continuing to work closely with him in this new position."

"John Degnan's leadership at the Port Authority will be remembered as a period when transparency and public access were greatly enhanced, and the agency recommitted itself to a core mission of transportation infrastructure. In thanking him for his extraordinary service, I also want to recognize his many years of dedication to public service in New Jersey over the past four decades and to wish him well in his next pursuit," Governor Christie said. "I can think of no one better than Kevin O'Toole to assume the Port Authority chairmanship at this point, with New Jersey and New York moving forward with the most important project in generations to impact commuters and the economy in the Northeast Corridor, the Gateway Program. Kevin is the right person at the right time."

Mr. O'Toole is the Managing Partner of O'Toole Scrivo Fernandez Weiner Van Lieu, LLC and recently concluded a long and distinguished career in the New Jersey Legislature.  During his time in the Legislature, Mr. O'Toole sponsored many significant pieces of legislation and was instrumental in the passage of landmark Transportation Trust Fund legislation that provided long-term sustainability for New Jersey's transportation infrastructure.  As an accomplished attorney, Mr. O'Toole heads a growing, mid-sized firm of over 40 attorneys and has a varied litigation practice in which he is routinely called upon by Fortune 500 companies to obtain cost-effective, early resolution of complex matters.  Mr. O'Toole received a B.A. and J.D. from Seton Hall University.

Since January 2015, Mr. Cotton has served as Governor Cuomo's Special Counsel for Interagency Initiatives, overseeing most of the Governor's major downstate infrastructure priorities including LaGuardia and JFK Airports, the Penn-Farley Complex, the new Tappan Zee Bridge and the expansion of the Javits Center. Mr. Cotton joined the administration following 25 years at NBC Universal, where he held a number of positions beginning in 1989, including 20 years as EVP and General Counsel and four years in London as President and Managing Director of CNBC Europe. He also served as Executive Secretary to the Department at the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare under Secretary Joseph A. Califano, Jr. and Special Assistant for Renewable Energy to Deputy Secretary of Energy John Sawhill at the U.S. Department of Energy. Mr. Cotton received an A.B. from Harvard College and a J.D. from Yale Law School, and served as a law clerk to Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. on the U.S. Supreme Court.

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