NJ TRANSIT BOARD SELECTS VERONIQUE (RONNIE) HAKIM AS AGENCY'S NEXT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
February 24, 2014
NEWARK, NJ — In a unanimous vote, the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors appointed Veronique (“Ronnie”) Hakim as the new Executive Director of NJ TRANSIT during a special meeting today. The appointment is effective starting Saturday, March 1, 2014.
“I would like to thank Governor Christie and the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors for the opportunity to continue serving the citizens of New Jersey” said Executive Director Hakim. “A robust and efficient public transportation network is vital to the economic growth of the Garden State, and our customers deserve a system that meets and exceeds their expectations. I look forward to working with the hard-working men and women of NJ TRANSIT to achieve these goals in the months and years to come.”
Prior to Executive Director Hakim’s appointment, she led the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) for nearly four years. During her tenure, Executive Director Hakim successfully spearheaded effective cost-cutting initiatives at NJTA while simultaneously maintaining the agency’s high performance levels. These savings and efficiencies include reducing $10 million from the NJTA's operating budget, continuing funding of the agency's ambitious $7 billion Capital Program at a lower cost of capital, and bringing a higher level of transparency and accountability to the agency.
“As a professional with 27 years of experience in the transportation industry, Ronnie’s proven commitment to public service and her results-driven focus will serve the agency, our customers, and the taxpayers of New Jersey well,” said Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman James Simpson.
Previously, Executive Director Hakim also served in leadership roles throughout a 23-year career with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York City. She first served as Special Counsel at MTA New York City Transit and later as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Capital Construction at MTA Capital Construction. In that position, she provided senior management with policy and legal advice on numerous large-scale projects, including the Second Avenue Subway, the LIRR East Side Access Project, and the No. 7 Subway Extension Project.
Executive Director Hakim holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Rochester and a Juris Doctor from the Pace University School of Law.
About NJ TRANSIT
NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 895,000 weekday trips on 261 bus routes, three light rail lines, 12 commuter rail lines and through Access Link paratransit service. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 165 rail stations, 62 light rail stations and more than 19,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.