Press Release Article


Date: Feb 03, 2011
Press Release Number: 4-2011

Former New Jersey Attorney General David Samson, a prominent New Jersey attorney who has spent more than 30 years in various public-sector positions, today was elected the 18th Chairman of The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Chairman Samson was nominated by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and confirmed by the State Senate on January 25. He succeeds Anthony R. Coscia, who served as Chairman since April 2003 – the longest tenure as Chairman in the Port Authority’s modern history. In June 2010, Mr. Coscia was appointed to the Board of Directors of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak).

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said, “I have enormous faith and trust in David Samson, his leadership qualities and ability to guide the policies of the Port Authority. With his background and experience in public life, he is particularly suited to serve the agency, New Jersey and New York, at this critical time as we work together to maximize our shared resources to expand commercial opportunities and prosperity in the port region. We also owe a debt of gratitude to Tony Coscia for his years of service to the Port Authority, particularly for helping maintain the agency’s stability and effectiveness during a deep recession.”

“It is an honor and a privilege to lead this distinguished agency as it takes on some of the most transformative transportation projects in its 90-year history. During the upcoming years, our mission is clear. We will continue to address the region’s major transportation needs, including Bayonne Bridge modernization, and to drive economic competitiveness and job creation in the port region with a commitment to fiscal responsibility,” Chairman Samson said.

“I am committed to working with the governors of both states, the members of the Board and the nearly 7,000 dedicated Port Authority employees to build on the progress they have made to improve the world’s most complex regional transportation system and protect our infrastructure from security threats,” Chairman Samson said.

Former Chairman Coscia said, “I want to thank my fellow commissioners and Port Authority staff for their friendship and support over the past eight years. We’ve achieved a lot together – taking the lead in rebuilding the World Trade Center; upgrading the region’s major airports and purchasing Stewart Airport; modernizing the PATH rail system; building the seaport’s on-dock rail system; launching a comprehensive sustainability program; and making the agency more transparent and accountable to the people we serve. Through these initiatives and others, we’ve restored the Port Authority’s standing as the nation’s premier public infrastructure agency and a leading engine for regional economic growth. I’m confident that the agency will build on these achievements under the leadership of David Samson and I wish him every success in the years ahead.”

Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said, “I would like to thank Chairman Coscia for his years of service to the Port Authority, and for his dedication to moving our mission forward. Tony took the helm at a time of real uncertainty for the agency and for the region, and eight years later both are on much firmer footing thanks in many ways to his efforts. I would also like to welcome Chairman Samson. I very much look forward to working closely with him as we continue driving forward the Port Authority’s critical transportation and development mission.”

Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni said, “I have had the privilege to see firsthand Chairman Samson’s leadership and ability to bring people together to drive solutions. He brings with him a long history of public service and the experience necessary to lead this agency at what will be a very critical and exciting period in our history.”

About Chairman David Samson

Mr. Samson is a founding member of the law firm Wolff & Samson. His 40-year career in private practice includes extensive experience in complex business and corporate litigation, administrative proceedings, and governmental and regulatory affairs.

During 2002-2003, Mr. Samson served as New Jersey Attorney General, the chief law enforcement officer for New Jersey. In this role, he supervised the statewide divisions of Criminal Justice, New Jersey State Police, Civil Rights, Consumer Affairs, and Gaming Enforcement, as well as the Division of Law, which represents all executive departments in New Jersey State government. As Chairman of the New Jersey Domestic Security Preparedness Task Force, he worked hand-in-hand with federal agencies in organizing and directing counterterrorism efforts throughout the New Jersey-New York area.

In 2009, Mr. Samson was counsel to the gubernatorial election campaign of Christopher J. Christie and thereafter served as the Chairman of the Transition Committee for Governor Christie. Mr. Samson has also acted as a court-appointed labor union trustee, a civil litigation discovery master and as a federal monitor pursuant to a U.S. Department of Justice deferred prosecution agreement.

Among his public positions, Mr. Samson was appointed by Governor James Florio as a member of the Governor’s Commission on Health Care Costs and by Governor Thomas Kean as the Chairman of the Governor’s Task Force on the Laws Governing the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He also served from 1982 to 1990 as General Counsel to the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

Mr. Samson was appointed by the Supreme Court of New Jersey to serve on its Ethics Committee and was a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Reporting of Court Decisions. He was also the legal consultant to the Advisory Committee to the Attorney General on Governmental Immunity. In addition, Mr. Samson served on the New Jersey Bar Association Committee on Judicial and Prosecutorial Appointments.

Mr. Samson served a judicial clerkship with Associate Justice Nathan L. Jacobs of the New Jersey Supreme Court.

CONTACT: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Steve Coleman, 212 435-7777

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, Stewart International and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; the Port Authority-Port Jersey Marine Terminal and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. The Port Authority is self-sufficient and receives no tax revenues from either state.

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