New York Gov. David Paterson last week pegged Christopher Ward as the next executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Ward is currently the managing director of the General Contractors Association of New York Inc., which assists the heavy construction industry in labor and bidding issues. He will replace former Port Authority executive director Anthony Shorris, who announced his resignation on April 17.

"Chris Ward has developed extraordinary skills during his long career in both the public and private sectors," Paterson said in a press release. "I believe he will provide the visionary leadership needed to build and maintain a first-rate transportation and infrastructure system for the 21st century."

Ward was chief executive operator at American Stevedoring Inc. from 2005 to 2006 after previously serving as the company's director of business development in 1996 and 1997. From 2002 to 2005, he was Commissioner of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and also chief of planning and external affairs and director of port development for the Port Authority from 1997 to 2002.

Prior to the Port Authority, Ward was senior vice president for transportation and commerce of the New York City Economic DevelopmentCorp. from 1992 to 1996. He has a BA from MacAlester College and a Masters in Theology from Harvard University.

Ward's yearly salary will be $286,702 and his appointment is subject to board approval.


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