Episode 11 of The Connection podcast: Former port director discusses the future of America’s ports 

May 29, 2024

In Episode 11 of The Connection, hosts Marshall Macomber and Mary Scott Nabers talk with Christopher Ward, former Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, about the implications of the Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore and the future of U.S. ports. They discuss the growing importance of private sector investment for port operations, including climate change and infrastructure challenges. Tune in for expert insights on the evolving role of ports and the opportunities presented by significant federal funding. 

Click here to listen to previous episodes of The Connection.

Meet the expert guest:

Chris Ward EC New York 300x216 Christopher O. WardChristopher Ward is a seasoned executive with over 30 years of experience in infrastructure and government. He has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Executive of a $17.4 billion infrastructure firm in New York City and as Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, where he led the World Trade Center rebuilding effort. He was also Commissioner of the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, overseeing 6,500 employees and a $2 billion budget. Additionally, Christopher has held various executive roles in national companies and public service positions, contributing significantly to both sectors.

Meet the expert co-hosts:

Marshall Macomber is a visionary executive with a unique blend of business development, political strategy, communications, and public sector experience. He is founder and president of ThinkP3, a DC-based consulting and lobbying firm promoting innovative infrastructure solutions and alternative delivery models such as public-private partnerships (P3s). He played a key role in the 2021 infrastructure bill, initiating a vital USDOT program for state DOTs. Macomber is also a former Chief of Staff to Congressman Mike Rogers and holds an MBA from Georgetown University. A member of George Washington University’s ESG & Infrastructure Steering Group and other boards, he is a frequent speaker, panelist and moderator at industry events.  A driving passion for growing public transit, building walkable and equitable cities, decarbonizing America’s energy grid, and improving railroad infrastructure and operations gets him up in the morning and keeps him up at night.

Mary Scott Nabers is President/CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc. (SPI). A recognized expert regarding P3s, she is the author of Collaboration Nation – How Public-Private Ventures Are Revolutionizing the Business of Government & Inside the Infrastructure Revolution – A Roadmap for Rebuilding America. Her articles have been published by media outlets, including Forbes, CNBC, The Hill, & POLITICO.  Mary was the President and General Manager of two media firms. In government, she served as the Commissioner representing Business at the Texas Employment Commission where she was a high-profile, proactive business advocate who founded The Texas Business Council. Then, Commissioner Nabers moved to the Texas Railroad Commission, the state’s regulatory agency for the oil and gas industry, which at the time regulated approximately $65 billion of the state’s economy annually. 

Gracie Warhurst

Gracie Warhurst has joined Strategic Partnerships, Inc. as a writer and digital content creator for the new Government Market News portal. With a rich background in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, Warhurst has experience as editor-in-chief of a literary magazine, assistant web editor, and project manager for an AI journalism project. She also contributed as a reporter during the development of SPI's news portal. Warhurst graduated summa cum laude in December 2023 with a Bachelor's in Journalism and a certificate in creative writing, making her a valuable asset to the SPI team.

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