Chief Safety Officer

Port Authority of New York & New Jersey

The Chief Safety Officer (CSO) is responsible for strategic policy development, management, and oversight of the Agency’s Safety Programs. Exhibits a personal commitment to safety and is a passionate advocate for the safety of our passengers and our workforce.  Develops a progressive and proactive vision of safety across the Agency and our transit system. Translates the safety vision into strategy and provides guidance and direction to managers on program implementation, government regulations, reporting requirements, and standards of practice in five safety areas: Construction Safety, Operational Safety, Safety Certification, Employee Health and Safety, and Public Safety. The CSO ensures that a safety culture exists in all decision-making to guarantee the safety of our riders, employees, contractors, key stakeholders and the communities we serve. Works as a partner with other agency organizations, contractors and consultants to assist in driving safety culture. Further, the CSO sees that the agency shares responsibility for the implementation and adherence to the Safety Management System and delivers a ‘best-in-class’ safety program.

Major Responsibilities

  • Oversee the implementation of all-agency safety management policies
  • Creates clarity within the department and throughout the agency of the Safety Department’s roles and responsibilities. Drives performance by actively leading and managing the culture change necessary for creating a best-in-class safety system and acting as a change agent; effectively communicates the need for change while modeling and enforcing new behaviors and norms for the department and creating and promoting an inclusive and positive work environment.
  • Recommends updates for facility operations, maintenance, and safety policies and procedures to maintain safe operating and working conditions, eliminate hazards and provides for changes in safety regulations and standards
  • Regular reporting back to the Executive Director on progress, metrics and KPI’s in order for the board to make educated decisions
  • Provide proactive risk assessment, co-lead benefit-risk assessment with other relevant functions, develop risk management strategies and plans and monitor effectiveness
  • Implements procedures, practices, and policies for managing risk and hazards including training and communication.
  • Provides leadership and directs staff in developing policy concerning System Safety, Employee Health and Safety, Construction Safety, Rail Operations and Public Safety
  • Establishing and maintaining honest, transparent, and effective relationships with federal regulatory agencies, local and regional governments, and interested trade associations and special interest groups


Candidates must present the following qualifications to be considered eligible for this position:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering, industrial relations, industrial hygiene, safety, industrial engineering, or closely related field and minimum fifteen (15) years of experience directing and managing the safety, quality, engineering, construction and related functions of a safety and quality assurance division in a medium to large organization; OR an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Proven experience implementing and cultivating a successful organizational safety culture.
  • Must have broad knowledge of federal requirements, specifically the United States Department of Transportation/Federal Transit Administration
  • Required knowledge of safety functions and programs including plant safety, facility safety, construction (OSHA) safety, hazard analysis, transit safety certification, and reliability, maintainability, and availability analysis of transit systems.
  • Proven experience with project and program management techniques and principles.
  • Must be able to look at safety strategically and integrate it into future company plans, includes resources, and financial impacts
  • Demonstrated experience performing related occupational health, safety, and transit oversight and/or coordination for an operating enterprise or an oversight agency, or in performing operations, maintenance for a transit agenc


Ideal candidates will present the following profile:

  • Transit Safety and Security Program (TSSP) Certification
  • Demonstrated direct and authentic communication style that is adept at delivering complex messages and information to varying levels of leadership including the CEO and Board of Directors.
  • Ability to manage up…and down
  • Ability to lead, motivate, mentor and develop diverse staff.