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Govs. Andrew Cuomo of New York and Chris Christie of New Jersey yesterday announced new leadership appointments at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ).Kevin O'Toole has been named chairman of the board, while Rick Cotton has been appointed the authority's executive director, according to a press release jointly issued by the governors. Among O'Toole and Cotton's first priorities will be to resume the search for a new chief executive officer for the authority. Their appointments take effect after the board's next meeting, which is scheduled for Sept. 28.O'Toole, a former Republican state senator in New Jersey, joined the PANYNJ's board in July. As chairman, he succeeds John Degnan. Christie thanked Degnan for his service on the board and to the state of New Jersey. O'Toole is "the right person at the right time" to chair the board going forward, Christie added."I can think of no one better than Kevin O'Toole to assume the Port Authority chairmanship at this point, with New Jersey and New York moving forward with the most important project in generations to impact commuters and the economy in the Northeast Corridor, the Gateway Program," he said.Since January 2015, Cotton has served as Cuomo's special counsel for interagency initiatives, overseeing most of the governor's downstate infrastructure priorities, including the Penn-Farley Complex. Cotton joined the administration after serving 25 years at NBC Universal, where he held several positions including 20 years as executive vice president and general counsel.Cotton will succeed Patrick Foye, who is expected to move to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to assume a senior leadership role, The New York Times reported yesterday."Pat Foye has done an exceptional job serving the Port Authority with bold leadership and a tireless commitment to bettering the transportation infrastructure of New York and New Jersey, and I wish him the very best," Cuomo said in the press release. "With major infrastructure projects across the region underway, including the new JFK and LaGuardia Airports, the Port Authority has unprecedented momentum, and Rick Cotton has the experience and tenacity to continue moving these transformative projects ahead and lead the organization into the future."
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