The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey board of commissioners has elected John Degnan as its new chairman.

Degnan replaces David Samson in the role. Samson resigned in late March after several news organizations called for his resignation. They said that he had participated in Port Authority decisions in which he had a personal interest. There were also questions about his possible involvement in the politically-motivated closure of lanes of the George Washington Bridge in fall 2013.

"John understands the importance of transparency to the policy-making process and the need for the Port Authority to be responsive, effective and consistent," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said, in a statement. "John is well suited to the task of ensuring the economic competitiveness of the Port region and providing the independence and leadership to pursue bi-state, bipartisan reforms."

Degnan said, "It is imperative that moving forward all agency action be open and transparent to allow for sufficient expert and public review."

Port Authority executive director Pat Foye said, "Chairman Degnan will add great expertise and a wealth of private-sector experience to the Port Authority board, as well as a proven commitment to serving the public."

Prior to serving as chair of the Port Authority, Degnan was chief operating officer of the Chubb Corporation, a worldwide property and casualty insurance company based in New Jersey.

Christie nominated Degnan to be chair of the board in late April. On July 10 the New Jersey Senate confirmed the nomination. On July 23 the authority's board voted unanimously to make Degnan their chairman.

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