The critical role of technology in shaping public policy will be the focus of keynote graduation speaker Anthony R. Coscia, chairman of the board of commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, at the 2007 Commencement of New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). The event is set for May 17, 2007, 9 a.m., at Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford.
Drawing on the lessons of the Port Authority, and Coscia’s leadership of the agency since May 2003, the North Caldwell resident will address how many of today's most important policy questions can benefit from the leadership and insights of those trained in the fields of science and technology. And, he added, the dangerous consequences for this region and the world, if those trained in those fields fail to assert themselves
At the ceremony, NJIT will award Coscia an honorary doctorate of humane letters in recognition of his outstanding professional achievements in economic development and the transportation industry. More than 2,000 degrees to graduate and undergraduate students will also be presented.
Four other notable individuals will receive honorary degrees. William S. Guttenberg (class of 1944), of Tenafly, founder and retired president of Wilco Electric, will be honored for his professional achievements, his dedication to helping physically challenged young people and for his generosity to NJIT; Peter D. Lax, PhD, professor emeritus of mathematics, New York University, recipient of the Abel Prize for his notable research contributions to the mathematical sciences; John J. Mooney (class of 1960), of Glen Rock, co-inventor of the catalytic converter, for his outstanding achievements in the field of automotive engineering and helping the environment; Randal D. Pinkett, PhD, MBA, co-founder, president and CEO of BCT Partners, Newark, for his academic and professional achievements and service to the community.
Coscia is a partner in the law firm of Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP, one of the region’s oldest and most respected law firms. He holds a seat on the firm’s Executive Committee.
After holding a number of high-level positions in state government, Coscia was appointed chair of the Port Authority in 2003, where he oversees development initiatives at the former World Trade Center site. The agency also has responsibility for management and maintenance of major transportation systems and hubs throughout New York and New Jersey, including the bridges, tunnels, airports, PATH rail system, bus terminals and the seaports.
Coscia is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and received his law degree from the Rutgers University School of Law.
Coscia has specific experience in the area of corporate, financial and real estate transactions and has worked extensively with various governmental and regulatory agencies. From February 1992 to March 2003, Coscia served as chairman of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. Coscia has served as a director and audit committee member of several public and closely held corporations in the financial services, investment banking, real estate and manufacturing sectors. In addition, he serves as a trustee of the New Jersey Network Foundation, Cerebral Palsy of North Jersey and the Liberty Science Center Foundation and is a member of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center Council of Trustees.