Title: Sector Head, U.S. Seaports, Global Infrastructure Group
Firm: Fitch Ratings
Emma Griffith has served as the ports specialist at Fitch’s Global Infrastructure Group during a period of change and upheaval in the industry as shipping groups merged and U.S. ports expanded to accommodate the large cargo vessels capable of transiting the newly expanded Panama Canal.
She started off her career in public finance as an investment banker, where she was involved in infrastructure projects in the U.S. and Europe. She now enjoys covering developments that affect the broad range of projects and issuers that she is responsible for as a credit analyst.
Emma has led Fitch’s analysis of a number of innovative, groundbreaking projects, including last year’s $4 billion LaGuardia Airport terminal project being financed as a public-private partnership. She also serves as a mentor to newly hired and junior staff in an eight-person surveillance team of analysts. The analysts handle annual surveillance requirements for the majority of the monitored ratings in the U.S. Global Infrastructure group.
One of the biggest challenges now facing U.S. ports is untangling the “last-mile” road and bridge bottlenecks that hinder the movement of goods into and out of shipping facilities, she said.
Emma conducts interviews and outreach as part of the University of Pennsylvania's alumni interview program. Emma focuses on providing outreach for students interested in the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business, of which she is an alumna.
Emma is a member of the Municipal Analyst Group of New York and also participates in the Northeast Women in Public Finance group. She is an accomplished musician who plays violin for the all-volunteer Chapel Hill Philharmonia orchestra.
“Emma has shown great leadership as head of the seaport sector where she has put out timely research pieces and commentary to the market at the same time becoming a sought-after participant in industry panels. Through all these endeavors Emma shows a continued commitment to excellence.” Scott Zuchorski, senior director, Fitch Ratings