Management & Operations

Port Authority taps PATH dep. dir. DeGraffe to lead the railroad

Posted on March 25, 2019

Clarelle DeGraffe, the deputy director of Port Authority of New York/New Jersey is the new Director of Rail Transit and GM of PATH.
Clarelle DeGraffe, the deputy director of Port Authority of New York/New Jersey is the new Director of Rail Transit and GM of PATH.

Clarelle DeGraffe, the deputy director of Port Authority of New York/New Jersey since 2015 and an integral part of a leadership team that has brought significant improvements to the system, will be the new Director of Rail Transit and GM of PATH, effective Monday, March 25, the Port Authority announced.

She will replace retiring PATH Director Mike Marino, who announced his intention to retire last fall.

During her tenure as deputy director, DeGraffe an engineer by training who has served the Port Authority for 29 years — was instrumental in steering PATH through a series of major modernization and repair projects designed to improve and maintain the system, while also initiating new programs focused on customer experience.

DeGraffe will be responsible for carrying out PATH’s critical mission of moving nearly 300,000 people daily across the Hudson safely and effectively. She will oversee the department’s ambitious capital program, including the ongoing project to replace equipment and rebuild tunnels severely damaged during Superstorm Sandy and the completion of the remaining phases of modernizing its century-old signal system.

In addition to capital programs, DeGraffe will spearhead initiatives aimed at future capacity growth, reliability and enhanced customer experience, building on recent customer facing initiatives, such as real-time next train arrival info on countdown clocks and the RidePATH app.

Prior to being named deputy director in 2015, DeGraffe oversaw PATH’s $3.5 billion capital program and was responsible for the development, funding, and delivery of PATH’s Sandy Recovery Program. She has also held project management roles in World Trade Center Construction and was a driving force in delivering major projects including the World Trade Center Vehicle Security Center, the redevelopment of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, and the Newark AirTrain Extension Program. She is a graduate of the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken with a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering.

PATH Director/GM Mike Marino, who has served as director since 2015 and who has worked in the passenger rail industry for 45 years, will assist DeGraffe during the transition period before retiring early next month. Marino was originally scheduled to retire in January 2019 but postponed the date to assure continuity and oversight of the PTC signal system installation at PATH.

Marino’s outstanding contribution during his tenure efforts include the successful implementation and federal certification of the safety technology Positive Train Control, installation of a new communications-based signal system, extensive repair and replacement work necessitated by Superstorm Sandy, and a series of new customer service initiatives and enhancements throughout the PATH system.

Marino was named PATH GM/director in 2015. He joined the Port Authority in 2011 as Superintendent of PATH’s Way & Structures Division, after a long career at Amtrak and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and later assumed the role of Assistant Director/General Superintendent, providing oversight for operations and maintenance functions, before being named PATH Deputy Director in 2014.

In addition to his senior leadership positions at PATH, Amtrak and the MTA, Marino served as VP of Rail Transit for the Northeast Region for the engineering firm AECOM. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, having served for four years during the Vietnam War era and later as a reservist prior to beginning his railroad career.

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