Press Release Article


Date: Sep 17, 2014
Press Release Number: 186-2014

Agency Honors Former Chief Operating Officer with Facility Tribute

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced today the renaming of its Emergency Operations Center in honor of dedicated and distinguished public servant, Ernesto L. Butcher. The "Ernesto L. Butcher Emergency Operations Center" is a tribute to Mr. Butcher's legacy as a tireless public servant and exemplary leader.

Ernesto Butcher's career at the Port Authority spanned more than 40 years. He started at the Port Authority in 1971 as a Management Trainee and progressively rose through its ranks as General Manager of the George Washington Bridge; General Manager of the Port Authority Bus Terminal; Assistant Director of Operations in Tunnels, Bridges & Terminals; Deputy Director, General Services Department; Deputy Director, Interstate Transportation Department; Director, Tunnels, Bridges and Terminals; and Deputy Executive Director for Operations.

In 1999, Butcher was appointed the Port Authority's Chief Operating Officer, with broad responsibility for the agency's airports, ports, tunnels, bridges and terminals, and the PATH system, as well as security and public safety operations.

The Port Authority Board of Commissioners resolution states: "On September 11, 2001, Ernesto Butcher led Port Authority staff and World Trade Center visitors and tenants in the evacuation of the World Trade Center site without regard for his own personal safety, and in the aftermath of the attack was a symbol of hope and courage for the Port Authority, providing a constant presence and calm demeanor, providing leadership and guidance in efforts to recover and restore operations, providing comfort for the survivors, and becoming in the eyes of staff a transcendent force, rising above the tragedy and chaos of that terrible day."

"Ernesto Butcher was an exemplary public servant who dedicated his professional life to this agency and this region. He led the Port Authority through some of its darkest days with quiet courage and inspiring confidence in the future," said Port Authority Chairman John Degnan. "It is only fitting that we dedicate our Emergency Operations Center to a man who met the crisis of 9/11 with extraordinary poise and an unshakeable faith in the ability of this agency, and this community, to rebuild."

"Ernesto Butcher in many ways embodied the spirit of the men and women that work at the Port Authority," said Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler. "A committed, calm and thoughtful public servant that this organization was lucky to have. His role during the horrific attacks on 9/11, as well as leadership in the days and months afterwards will not be forgotten and it is only fitting that we rename the Emergency Operations Center in his honor."

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency's network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where construction crews are building the iconic One World Trade Center, which is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit

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