Gov.-elect Chris Christie Monday announced the appointment of Jim Simpson, former administrator of the Federal Transit Administration, as New Jersey transportation commissioner and James Weinstein, a past transportation commissioner, New Jersey Transit director. Christie said Simpson and Weinstein bring years of experience in management and infrastructure to New Jersey’s transportation system. Simpson served not only at the Federal Transit Administration overseeing an annual budget of $10 billion, but as commissioner of the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Weinstein previously served as commissioner of the state Department of Transportation during the Whitman administration and as director of the Authorities Unit during the Kean administration.
“Our state is facing great fiscal difficulties which is why I am pleased to have two individuals with extensive backgrounds in management, budgeting and infrastructure,” Christie said in Trenton. “Both Jim Simpson and James Weinstein know the tough road ahead of us and have the strong credentials to handle the task at hand.”
Simpson is the chairman and co-founder of Spartan Solutions, an infrastructure management company and is chairman of Victory Worldwide Transportation an international transportation company.
In 2005, President Bush nominated Simpson to serve as FTA administrator. He left the position in 2008. Prior to that position, Simpson served briefly as the senior advisor to the U.S. secretary of transportation. In 2004, Simpson was appointed to the St. Lawrence Seaway Board, at the US Department of Transportation.
At the FTA, Simpson managed a staff of more than 1,000 employees and contractors in Washington, D.C. and ten regional offices around the country. His duties included: serving as the nation’s chief of public transportation; approving the funding of transportation infrastructure projects; communicating the administration’s key initiatives on public transportation; and, disseminating policy guidance to Congress and transportation stakeholders.
Under Simpson, the FTA oversaw 430 billion of transit construction, awarded nearly $14 billion in federal capital grants and managed one of the largest discretionary programs in the federal government.
Prior to joining FTA, Jim developed and owned Victory Worldwide Transportation. He joined the company as a tractor-trailer driver while attending college. The company was recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce when it was awarded the International Trade Award for Service Excellence.
In 1995, New York Governor George E. Pataki appointed Simpson as commissioner of the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority, where he served for 10 years. Immediately following 9-11, Simpson was designated the primary New York MTA Board liaison to the governor’s and mayor’s offices in coordinating transit activities at the World Trade Center site.
Simpson is a graduate of St. John’s University and is a David Rockefeller Fellow.
Weinstein is the vice President at AECOM, one of the world’s premier engineering and architectural design firms. It provides professional, technical and management support services, specifically in the areas of transportation, facilities, environmental and energy.
In 2002, Weinstein served as senior vice president of Northeast Corridor Amtrak. From 1998 to 2002, the state transportation commissioner and chairman of New Jersey Transit. In 1986, Kean appointed Weinstein to serve as Authorities Unit director, a post he held until 1989.
Weinstein served as a commissioner on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey from 1999-2001. From 1999-2002 he served as commissioner to the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, the New Jersey Highway Authority and the South Jersey Transportation Authority.
After graduating from Seton Hall University, Weinstein worked as a newspaper reporter for the Courier News, Newark Evening News and the Philadelphia Bulletin. NJN