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 on Monday. The appointment is effective starting March 1.
“I would like to thank Gov. Christie and the NJ Transit board of directors for the opportunity to continue serving the citizens of New Jersey” said 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 Hakim’s appointment, she led the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) for nearly four years. During her tenure, Hakim successfully spearheaded effective cost-cutting initiatives at NJTA while simultaneously maintaining the agency’s high performance levels, according to NJ Transit. The savings and efficiencies include reducing $10 million from the NJTA's operating budget, continuing funding of the agency's $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, Hakim also served in leadership roles throughout a 23-year career with the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). She first served as special counsel at MTA New York City Transit and later as executive VP and general counsel, 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.