Chris Ward was named a member of the New York Building Congress’s board of directors, the powerful industry group announced this morning.
Mr. Ward served as the Port Authority’s top New York executive for three years before leaving the large transit and infrastructure agency last year to become an executive in the Manhattan office of Dragados, a large Madrid-based construction firm.
During his tenure at the Port Authority, Mr. Ward spoke several times at Building Congress breakfasts and other events, which are considered a platform to communicate to its membership of high ranking and influential construction, real estate executes and political figures as well as the media.
“Throughout my time in both the public and private sector, the New York Building Congress has served as a vocal and credible advocate of strategic, long-term investments in the region’s infrastructure,” Mr. Ward said in a statement released by the Building Congress.
Mr. Ward’s tenure at the Port Authority burnished his reputation as a construction expert. He is credited with helping to implement innovative building techniques at the World Trade Center that allowed the site’s memorial to be largely completed in time for the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and also bringing more realistic completion deadlines and budget estimates to other components of the massive $20 billion-plus redevelopment project.
“Chris Ward has developed a well-deserved reputation as a visionary when it comes to investment in the region’s vast infrastructure network,” Building Congress Chairman John Dionisio said in a statement. “Nowhere has this been more evident than at the World Trade Center, where construction milestones were achieved at breathtaking speed during his three years leading the Port Authority.”
Before the Port Authority, Mr. Ward served as commissioner of the city’s Department of Environmental Protection, where he oversaw the design and early stages of construction of an over $3 billion water filtration plant in Croton. He was also a top executive at the General Contractors Association of New York.
At Dragados, Mr. Ward is focused on helping the company win major infrastructure and construction projects around the globe. In an interview with The Commercial Observer earlier this year, Mr. Ward said that he was focused on major dam projects in the western U.S. and also the redevelopment of the Tappan Zee Bridge, a multibillion dollar project in Westchester.