The Paterson administration has replaced Port Authority board commissioner Christy Ferer with Fred Hochberg, a former Clinton administration official at the Small Business Administration and dean of Milano, the New School’s center for management and urban policy.
While the Paterson administration generally announces such nominations beforehand, this one went in quietly and stayed that way until it was done, as the state Senate last night voted to confirm Mr. Hochberg for the unpaid position on the agency’s board.
Ms. Ferer, whose term expired last year, was appointed to the board by Governor Pataki in 2004. Her husband was Neil Levin, the executive director of the bi-state Port Authority who died in the attacks of September 11, and she also served as Mayor Bloomberg’s liaison to 9/11 families.
A spokesman for the Senate Republicans said that the state Senate received the nomination from the Paterson administration in late July.
The governor’s appointments page, active through the Spitzer administration, at least by our recollection, seems like it could benefit from some attention.
FRED P. HOCHBERG CONFIRMED BY NEW YORK STATE SENATE
AS NEW PORT AUTHORITY COMMISSIONER
The New York State Senate has confirmed Fred P. Hochberg, Dean of Milano the New School for Management and Urban Policy, as a member of the Port Authority Board of Commissioners.
Mr. Hochberg, who was nominated to the unpaid position by Governor David A. Paterson, will replace former Commissioner Christine A. Ferer on the 12-member board, and will serve until 2013. He is scheduled to attend his first Board meeting next month.
New York Governor David A. Paterson said, "Fred Hochberg’s broad professional background as a business leader in the public and private sectors will be an enormous asset to the Port Authority Board. I’m pleased the Senate acted quickly to confirm his nomination so that he can join the Board in the important work that lies ahead, particularly at the World Trade Center."
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, "Guiding a $29.5 billion, 10-year capital plan, which rebuilds Lower Manhattan, enhances more than a dozen complex transportation facilities, and further strengthens our extensive security systems, requires our Board to wear many different hats. Fred Hochberg’s expertise will prove invaluable as we advance our important agenda."
Port Authority Vice Chairman Henry R. Silverman said, "It’s uncommon to find someone whose range of experience covers as wide a swath as Fred Hochberg’s does. To have a Board member with credentials in small business, or as Cabinet-level administrator in the federal government, or in community service would be gladly welcomed. Fred brings all that and much more, and the Board looks forward to working with him."
Mr. Hochberg has more than 25 years of experience in business, government, civil rights activities, and philanthropy. From 1998 through 2000, he served as deputy, then acting administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA), an agency elevated to cabinet rank by President Bill Clinton, with more than 4,000 employees and 100 offices across the country. At the SBA, he directed the delivery of a comprehensive set of financial and business development programs for entrepreneurs, with particular outreach to women and minorities. He also served on President Clinton’s Management Council.
Prior to that, he was president and chief operating officer of the Lillian Vernon Corporation, where he led the transformation of a small family mail order company into a publicly traded direct marketing corporation, one of the great success stories of American entrepreneurship.
Mr. Hochberg is dedicated to community service and philanthropic involvement in civil rights, education, and the arts. He has served on numerous civic and business boards of directors and is currently on the boards of the Citizens Budget Commission, FINCA International Micro Finance, Fusion Communications, the Howard Gilman Foundation, and Seedco.