Press Release Article


Date: Sep 15, 2006
Press Release Number: 68-2006

Jeanne Olivier, General Manager of the Port Authority’s Aviation Security and Technology Division, will go to Iraq this month on temporary assignment with the U.S. State Department to help Iraqi officials rebuild and reactivate the country’s commercial airports.

Ms. Olivier, a Plainsboro, N.J., resident who has been with the Port Authority for more than 20 years, will take a one-year leave of absence from the agency to assist the Iraqi government as it begins to rebuild its airports so that Iraq can attract commercial airline service and revitalize its aviation industry.

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “We are confident that Jeanne will continue to distinguish herself in this new and important assignment in Iraq with the same work ethic and dedication she has shown for the Port Authority. We wish her the best of luck and a safe return.”

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “In more than two decades with the Port Authority, Jeanne has performed with distinction at every turn, and we know she will make us proud during her year in Iraq. Our thoughts will be with her every day, and we look forward to welcoming her home.”

Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “Few people are better qualified to help rebuild Iraq’s commercial aviation facilities than Jeanne, who brings a wealth and depth of experience to this enormous undertaking. The people of Iraq will soon discover how fortunate they are to have someone like Jeanne working on their behalf, and we wish her a safe and speedy return.”

Port Authority Aviation Director William R. DeCota said, “Jeanne’s undeniable determination to honor the memory of her 9/11 fallen colleagues has led her to respond to a calling that she cannot and would not ignore. We are so proud of her for traveling to a country rife with danger to serve a nation that so desperately needs her aviation expertise and leadership. Our thoughts will be with her constantly as we anxiously await the day when we can say, ‘Welcome home, Jeanne. Job well done.’”

When she arrives in Iraq, Ms. Olivier will work with the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority in Mosul, Irbil and other locations as the government restores and modernizes aviation infrastructure at airports throughout the country.

“I’m simply doing what anyone in my position would do,” Ms. Olivier said, “and I’m humbled to assist our service people in their efforts in Iraq as they are giving so much of themselves.”

Ms. Olivier joined the Port Authority in 1984. In addition to her current position, she also has served as manager of LaGuardia Airport’s Maintenance Services Division; manager of the former International Arrivals Building at John F. Kennedy International Airport; and manager of Newark Liberty International’s Airport Services Division. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Airport Executives, and past president of its Northeast Chapter.

Ms. Olivier is the second Port Authority employee to travel to Iraq as a civilian on behalf of the U.S. government. Thomas Wakeman of the Port Authority’s Port Commerce Department completed an assignment in 2004 to help rebuild Iraq’s maritime transportation infrastructure. In addition, Port Authority staff members also have served in Iraq as part of the U.S. Armed Forces.

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 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; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container 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 financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.

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