James Simpson was appointed and confirmed by the State Legislature as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation in 2010, when he also became a member of the NJTPA Board. In his capacity as Commissioner, Simpson also serves as Chairman of NJ Transit, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, the South Jersey Transportation Authority, and the Transportation Trust Fund Authority overseeing a total of 17,000 employees, more than $3.6 billion in capital funds and over $2 billion in operating funds.
Prior to his appointment as Commissioner, Simpson served as chairman of both a transportation infrastructure management company and a corporate relocation company. In 2005, President Bush nominated Commissioner Simpson to serve as Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration, a position he held until the end of 2008. At the FTA, Simpson's primary 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.
Commissioner Simpson also served briefly as the Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Transportation. In 2004, Simpson was appointed to the St. Lawrence Seaway Board at the U.S. Department of Transportation. In 1995, former New York Governor George E. Pataki appointed Simpson as a Commissioner of the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority, where he served for 10 years. Governor Pataki also appointed Simpson as a member of the New York State Job Development Authority. Under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's administration, Simpson was appointed Honorary Deputy Police Commissioner for the New York Police Department.
Commissioner Simpson formerly worked as a tractor-trailer driver while attending St. John's University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. He is a David Rockefeller Fellow; and is a pilot rated for Jet Aircraft. Commissioner Simpson is married with four children.
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