Board of Commissioners

John J. Degnan, Chairman

Photo of John J. DegnanJohn J. Degnan was nominated to the Board of Commissioners by Governor Chris Christie and was confirmed by the New Jersey State Senate on July 10, 2014. He was elected Chairman of the Board on July 23, 2014.

Mr. Degnan retired as Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer on December 31, 2010, from The Chubb Corporation.  He currently serves as senior advisor to the CEO of The Chubb Corporation. Mr. Degnan served as Vice Chairman and Chief Administrative Officer of The Chubb Corporation since December 2002 and Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer from June 2008 through December 2010.  He served as Chief Ethics Officer from 2005.  He has held various titles since joining Chubb & Son a division of Federal Insurance Company in 1990 as a Senior Vice President and General Counsel.  In September 1996, he was elected President of The Chubb Corporation and also became President of Chubb & Son a division of Federal Insurance Company in 1998.

Mr. Degnan served on the boards of the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters; the School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science, St. John’s University and continues to serve as a trustee for St. Benedict’s Preparatory School, Saint Barnabas Medical Center and Barnabas Health.  He is also member of the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Judicial appointment.  Recently, he has been appointed to the President’s Federal Advisory Council on Insurance.

After working as a law secretary for the late New Jersey Supreme Court Justice John Francis, Mr. Degnan joined the Newark, NJ law firm of Clapp & Eisenberg.  In 1974, he was appointed assistant counsel to Brendan T. Byrne, Governor of New Jersey, becoming Chief Counsel to the Governor in 1977.  He was appointed Attorney General of the State of New Jersey in 1978 and served until 1981 when he became a senior partner with Shanley & Fisher, specializing in administrative law.

Mr. Degnan graduated from Saint Vincent’s College magna cum laude in 1966 and from Harvard Law School with a Juris Doctor degree in 1969.  He received honorary degrees from the College of St. Elizabeth in 1978 and from Seton Hall University in 1979.

Committee Assignments:  Operations (Chair), Capital Planning, Execution and Asset Management (Vice-Chair).

Scott H. Rechler, Vice-Chairman

Photo of Scott H. RechlerScott Rechler was appointed to the Board of Commissioners in June 2011 by Governor Cuomo. Mr. Rechler is the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of RXR Realty LLC (“RXR”), a multibillion dollar private real estate company which 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's real estate acumen and entrepreneurial spirit delivered stellar returns to investors including a 715% total return to the Reckson shareholders.

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.

Since its formation in January 2007, Mr. Rechler has led RXR in becoming one of the largest owners, managers, and developers in the New York Tri-State area with interests in 88 commercial real estate properties and investments containing 23.3 million square feet with an aggregate gross value of $12.0 billion.  In addition, RXR has a residential development pipeline of approximately 3,000 units.

Mr. Rechler prides himself on enhancing the communities where RXR operates.  As such, Mr. Rechler serves as a member of the Real Estate Board of New York, member of the Hofstra Honors College Advisory Committee, as well as the NYU Real Estate Institute Advisory Committee.  In addition, Mr. Rechler serves on the Board of many of the region’s top cultural institutions such as The Long Island Children’s Museum, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, and the Tribeca Film Institute where he serves as its co-Chairman of the Board.

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.

Committee Assignments: Operations (Vice-Chair), Capital Planning, Execution and Asset Management (Chair).

Richard H. Bagger

Photo of Richard H. BaggerRichard H. Bagger was nominated to the Board of Commissioners by Governor Chris Christie.   He was confirmed by the New Jersey State Senate on June 28, 2012.   Mr. Bagger is Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Market Access for Celgene Corporation, a multinational biopharmaceutical company focusing on the discovery, development and commercialization of treatments for cancer and severe, immune-inflammatory conditions.  Rich is responsible for advancing patient access to Celgene therapies and driving recognition of the value of Celgene innovation through government relations, communications, patient advocacy and market access activities around the world.

Mr. Bagger most recently served for two years as Chief of Staff for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, responsible for managing implementation of the Governor’s policy agenda and priorities.

Previously, Rich was employed by Pfizer Inc for more than 16 years in a series of positions of increasing responsibility within the Company’s U.S. Pharmaceuticals, Corporate Affairs and Worldwide Pharmaceuticals Divisions.  From 2006 to 2009, he served on Pfizer’s senior most management team as Senior Vice President, Worldwide Public Affairs and Policy.

Prior to joining Pfizer in 1993, Mr. Bagger was Assistant General Counsel of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey, and before that practiced law with McCarter & English.

Mr. Bagger’s record of public service includes ten years in the New Jersey General Assembly, where he was Chairman of the Appropriations Committee and was elected by his colleagues to be Majority Conference Leader.  In 2001, he was elected to the New Jersey Senate and serviced there until 2002.  Before his election to the Legislature, he was a Councilman and Mayor of Westfield, New Jersey.

Richard Bagger has served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations, including the United States Chamber of Commerce, British American Business, the APEC Life Sciences Innovation Forum, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the Business Council of New York State, the Healthcare Institute of New Jersey, the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, the United Hospital Fund of New York , the American Council of Young Political Leaders, the Citizens Budget Commission of New York, the Overlook Hospital Foundation and the New Jersey Historical Society.

He received an A.B. degree from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and a J.D. degree from Rutgers University Law School.

Committee Assignments:  Finance (Chair); Audit.

Steven M. Cohen

Photo of David S. Steiner Steven M. Cohen was nominated to the Board of Commissioners by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and was confirmed by the New York State Senate on June 24, 2015. 

Steven M. Cohen has more than 25 years of experience as a lawyer in private practice and in public service.  He currently serves as General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer of MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated, which manages a diversified corporate portfolio.

Previously, Mr. Cohen served as Secretary to New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo during the first year of his administration.  Before serving in the Governor’s Office, Mr. Cohen served as Chief of Staff and Counselor to then-New York Attorney General Cuomo.   Mr. Cohen held both positions for the entire four years of Mr. Cuomo’s tenure as Attorney General.

During his time in private practice, Mr. Cohen provided strategic advice and counselling to an array of corporations, executives and elected officials.   He represented numerous individuals and corporations in connection with investigations and prosecutions conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the New York State Attorney General, the National Association of Securities Dealers, the New York Stock Exchange, and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.   His wide-ranging civil practice routinely included civil litigation involving claims against officers and directors of publicly traded entities.   He also counseled clients concerning online copyright issues.

Early in his career, Mr. Cohen was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he served as Chief of the violent gangs unit.  While an AUSA, Mr. Cohen investigated and prosecuted hundreds of cases involving murders and gang violence, as well as white collar offenses.

Mr. Cohen graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School (1988), and earned his B.A. from New York University (1985).  Following law school, Mr. Cohen served as law clerk to the Honorable Stanley Sporkin of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and Frank X. Altimari of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Mr. Cohen is a Trustee of New York University, Co-Chair of the Bronfman Center at NYU, and a member of the Board of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation.

Committee Assignments:  Audit (Vice-Chair), Security (Vice-Chair), Governance and Ethics

Michael D. Fascitelli

Photo of David S. SteinerMichael D. Fascitelli was nominated to the Board of Commissioners by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and was confirmed by the New York State Senate on June 24, 2015. 

Michael D. Fascitelli is the Founder of MDF Capital LLC, previously serving as President and Chief Executive Officer of Vornado Realty Trust as well as President of Alexander’s Inc.  Mr. Fascitelli continues to serve as a Trustee of Vornado Realty Trust.  Prior to joining Vornado, he was a Partner at Goldman, Sachs & Co.  Currently, he is a Trustee of Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust, as well as a Board Member at Child Mind Institute, Real Estate Board of New York, Rockefeller University and Urban Land Institute. 

Mr. Fascitelli holds an MBA, with highest distinction, from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering, Summa Cum Laude, from the University of Rhode Island.

Committee Assignments:  Capital Planning, Execution and Asset Management, Security

Hamilton ("Tony") E. James

Photo of David S. SteinerHamilton ("Tony") E. James was nominated to the Board of Commissioners by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and was confirmed by the New York State Senate on June 24, 2015. 

Mr. James is the President, Chief Operating Officer of Blackstone, and a member of the board of directors of Blackstone Group Management L.L.C. He is also a member of Blackstone’s Management and Executive Committees and sits on the firm’s investment committees.

Prior to joining Blackstone, Mr. James was Chairman of Global Investment Banking and Private Equity at Credit Suisse First Boston and a member of the Executive Board. Prior to the acquisition of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette by Credit Suisse First Boston in 2000, Mr. James was the Chairman of DLJ’s Banking Group, responsible for all the firm’s investment banking and merchant banking activities.  Mr. James joined DLJ in 1975 as an Investment Banking associate. He became head of DLJ’s global M&A group in 1982, founded DLJ Merchant Banking, Inc. in 1985, and was named Chairman of the Banking Group in 1995.  He is a Director of Costco Wholesale Corporation.

Mr. James graduated magna cum laude with a BA from Harvard College in 1973 and was a John Harvard Scholar.  He earned an MBA with high distinction from the Harvard Business School and graduated as a Baker Scholar in 1975.

Committee Assignments: Finance, Governance and Ethics

George R. Laufenberg

Photo of George R. Laufenberg

George R. Laufenberg was nominated to the Board of Commissioners by Governor Chris Christie. He was confirmed by the New Jersey State Senate on July 10, 2014.

Mr. Laufenberg is administrative manager of the New Jersey Carpenters Funds.  The five funds total in excess of $2 billion in assets and provide apprenticeship and training, health, pension, annuity and vacation benefits to more than 15,000 union members and their families and 7,000 retirees.  In addition to his duties with the carpenters union, he is chairman of the New Jersey Alliance for Action, a 700-member labor, business and governmental coalition which seeks to resolve infrastructure issues affecting the quality of life in New Jersey.  Mr. Laufenberg also currently serves on the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, the Institute for Nursing, the Board of Trustees of the Independent College Fund and as vice-chairman of the Empire State Carpenters Funds Board of Trustees.  He is also a past chairman of the board of Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, NJ and continues to serve on the hospital’s Board of Trustees.  Mr. Laufenberg was appointed by former Governor Christine Todd Whitman to serve on a task force evaluating the affordability and accessibility of health care in New Jersey, and is a past member of the Board of Directors of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of New Jersey, the New Jersey Hospital Rate Setting Commission, and the Jersey Coast Health Planning Council.  He has served on various committees for the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.   He received a B.A. degree in economics from Susquehanna University and has completed financial management courses at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.  Mr. Laufenberg holds the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) designation from the International Foundation, and currently serves on its Board of Directors and as a member of the Foundation’s Executive Committee. 

Committee Assignments: Operations.

Kenneth Lipper

Photo of Kenneth Lipper

Kenneth Lipper was appointed to the Board of Commissioners in June 2013 by Governor Cuomo. From 1987 to present, Mr. Lipper has been the Chairman of Lipper & Co LLC, an investment management and investment banking firm in Manhattan.

From 2004 to 2010, Mr. Lipper was the Executive Vice President and Member of the Management Committee and Chairman of the Acquisitions Committee at a leading global real estate firm, Cushman & Wakefield. From 1982 to 1985, he served as Deputy Mayor to New York City under Mayor Ed Koch. Previously, he was a General Partner and Managing Director at Salomon Brothers and a General Partner at Lehman Brothers.

Mr. Lipper serves on the Board of Directors of Case New Holland (CNH) Global NV, where he is currently a member of the Compensation and Governance Committee and was previously the Chairman of its Audit Committee. He is Chairman of the Board of Lippmann Enterprises LLC, a cosmetics company, and on the Advisory Board of Group FMG, a software company.

In addition, Mr. Lipper was previously an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of International and Public Affairs, where he taught “The Economic Resources and Objectives of US Foreign Policy.”

Mr. Lipper is also a creative author and producer and has been the recipient of an Academy Award as producer of The Last Days. He wrote the novel “Wall Street” and was chief technical advisor on the film; he wrote the novel and screenplay City Hall and was producer of the film; he was producer of the play and film The Winter Guest. He is a co-publisher of the Lipper/Viking Penguin, “Penguin Lives” biography series.

Mr. Lipper has achieved a B.A. from Columbia University, J.D. from Harvard Law School and Master of Civil Law, New York University/Faculty of Law & Economics, Paris.

Committee Assignments: Governance and Ethics (Chair), Finance, Operations.

Jeffrey H. Lynford

Photo of Jeffrey A. Moerdler Jeffrey H. Lynford was appointed to the Board of Commissioners in June 2011 by Governor Cuomo and reappointed in 2013.

Mr. Lynford currently serves as President and CEO of Educational Housing Services, Inc., the leading not-for-profit New York City organization that provides safe and affordable housing for college students and interns since 1987. He was the co-founder of the Wellsford group of public and private real estate companies. Over an 18 year period he served as the Chairman of three exchange-listed corporations: Wellsford Residential Property Trust (NYSE: an investment grade multi-family REIT from 1992 to 1997), Wellsford Real Properties, Inc. (AMEX: a real estate merchant banking and development firm from 1997 to 2007), and Reis, Inc. (NASDAQ: real estate analytics and information firm from 2007 to 2010). Previously, he held senior investment banking positions on Wall Street.

Mr. Lynford has served as a trustee/director on the boards of S.E.C. reporting corporations and mutual funds as well as non-profit organizations. He is an expert on capital formation, corporate governance “best practices,” and has extensive experience serving on many audit, finance, investment and executive board committees.

Mr. Lynford has held two additional gubernatorial appointments previously (the New York State Council on the Arts and the Trust for Governors Island) and currently serves on the boards of two institutions of higher education (NYU and the NYU Tandon School of Engineering). He is a trustee emeritus of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Citizens Budget Commission, Caramoor International Center for Music and the Arts, and a former ex officio trustee of the Lower Eastside Tenement Museum.

Mr. Lynford holds three university degrees, including a BA in history from SUNY at Buffalo, a Masters in Public Affairs (MPA) from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, and a JD from Fordham University School of Law.

Committee Assignments: Audit; Finance (Vice Chair).

Raymond M. Pocino

Photo of Raymond PocinoRaymond Pocino was appointed to the Board of Commissioners in June 2002 by Governor McGreevey. For more than 50 years, Mr. Pocino has been a member of the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA). He was appointed regional manager of LIUNA's Eastern Region Office in April 1995 and later won election as a LIUNA Vice President in September 1996. He was re-elected to additional five-year terms in 2001 and again in 2006. In his dual positions as Vice President and Eastern Regional Manager, Mr. Pocino directs and oversees activities that affect the working lives of some 40,000 laborers in the New Jersey, Delaware, New York City and Long Island geographical area. He is also President Emeritus of Construction & General Laborers Local 172 in Trenton, NJ. Mr. Pocino is serving his fifth term as a commissioner of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, one term as chairman. Mr. Pocino also serves as Vice Present of the NJ State AFL-CIO, Vice Chair of Choose New Jersey, and serves as a trustee of both the NJ Alliance for Action and New Jersey SEED.

Committee Assignments: Finance; Capital Planning, Execution and Asset Management; Security.

William "Pat" Schuber

Photo of William “Pat” Schuber, Esq., BA, JDWilliam “Pat” Schuber joined the Board in July 2011. He was appointed to the Board by Governor Christie. Mr. Schuber served as The County Executive of Bergen County for 12 years, 9 years as a member of the New Jersey State Assembly and Mayor of the Borough of Bogota for 4 years. He is currently an Associate Professor at the School of Administrative Science, Petrocelli College, Fairleigh Dickinson University. He is a faculty member in the Master of Administrative Science (MAS), Master of Science in Homeland Security (MSHS), Master of Sports Administration (MSA) and Bachelor of Arts in Individualized Studies (BAIS). His courses include Leadership, Government, Homeland Security, Law, Ethics and Communication. He is a past Adjunct Professor in Business Law at Montclair University and Seton Hall University. He is an Instructor in the Certified Public Manager Course of Studies (CPM) and the Police Executive Leadership Course sponsored by the New Jersey Association Chiefs of Police and the New Jersey State Police (NJSP).

Mr. Schuber has conducted Leadership Staff Ride Seminars at the Battlefields of Gettysburg, Antietam, Trenton, Princeton, Monmouth Courthouse, Brandywine and Normandy, France. He lectures frequently on military history, historical leadership, homeland security, ethics, communication and conflict resolution to numerous civic groups. He is the Seminar Director for the Bergen Leads Program sponsored by the Volunteer Center of Bergen County. This program trains future leaders in business, non-profit and government. He has written several scholarly articles and co-authored books on topics of History, Leadership and Homeland Security. Mr. Schuber served as a Captain in the US Army Reserve (Retired).

Mr. Schuber is a graduate of Fordham University with a BA and received his JD at Fordham University School of Law. He is currently serving Of Counsel to the law firm of Albert Wunsch III of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

Committee Assignments: Security (Chair), Governance and Ethics (Vice-Chair), Finance.

David S. Steiner

Photo of David S. SteinerDavid S. Steiner was appointed to the Board of Commissioners by Governor McGreevey in January 2003. Mr. Steiner is currently the Chairman of Steiner Equities Group, LLC a real estate development firm specializing in industrial office parks and commercial facilities in New Jersey and 14 other states and based in Roseland, New Jersey. Mr. Steiner recently built Steiner Studios, an unprecedented 280,000 square foot, $118 million state-of-the-art film and television production facility, situated on a 15-acre site at the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard. Mr. Steiner has worked with federal agencies such as the EPA and with Congressional committees and organized lobbying programs relating to land use regulation and industrial development. He is highly active in public service. Previously he served as vice president of the Washington Institute for Far East Policy. Mr. Steiner graduated from Carnegie Institute of Technology with a degree in Civil Engineering.

Committee Assignments: Audit (Chair), Operations, Capital Planning, Execution and Asset Management.


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