The Port Authority announced today that Sam Ruda, who joined the Port Authority in 2017 after a 25-year career in transportation that included 12 years in senior management at the Port of Portland, will be the agency’s new interim port director, effective Monday, Oct. 29. The bi-state agency has initiated a national search for a permanent director.
Currently the department’s deputy director of business development and strategy, Mr. Ruda has provided the Port Department with the expertise to advance a number of its most critical initiatives in performance, technology, real estate and marketing. These include work on the ExpressRail Port Jersey project and ongoing work at Greenville Yard, as well the ongoing development of a Port Master Plan to guide sustainable development and growth for the next 30 years.
In his roles at the Port of Portland, he was responsible for various enhancements, including the implementation of a development agreement that expanded capacity for auto imports and exports, the advancement of long-term tenant improvement projects and a strategic review of that port’s operating model to ensure the organization’s continued vitality.
Mr. Ruda will replace Molly Campbell, who came to the agency as port director in 2015 after a nearly 15-year career with the Port of Los Angeles and an experienced leader in the maritime industry. She is leaving to accept a prestigious 2019 fellowship with Harvard University’s Advanced Leadership Initiative.
Ms. Campbell oversaw a department that improved stakeholder collaboration and enhanced the port’s capabilities, all while the port managed to continually hit new record cargo volumes.
In his new role, Mr. Ruda will lead the port department during a period of continued growth and change for the agency’s port facilities in New York and New Jersey. He also will work closely with the agency’s newly named team of general managers and deputy general managers at New York and New Jersey Marine Terminals and the rest of the department’s senior management.
Mr. Ruda graduated from Rutgers College in New Jersey with an economics degree. His career also includes extensive experience in container shipping, marketing, pricing, passenger air service and air cargo development, as well as managing the global supply chain for a Fortune 500 company with extensive Asia-based manufacturing operations.