Gateway Program appoints interim executive director

GDC The Portal Bridge replacement project is part of the so-called Gateway Tunnel project.

The Gateway Program Development Corp. announced Friday it has appointed Frank Sacr its new interim executive director. The Newark-based organization also announced it has hired Suma Mandel as chief administrative officer.

The new appointments, GDC said, are in sync with its efforts to begin major construction on the Hudson Tunnel and Portal North Bridge projects.

Sacr will succeed John D. Porcari, who has served in the role since July 2016. Porcari will continue in in his current role as president, WSP Advisory Services, and will remain as an adviser to GDC.

“2019 is a pivotal year for the Gateway Program and we are grateful that Frank has accepted this challenge,” Jerry Zaro, GDC chairman, said.  “Frank has already been integral in developing smart and innovative financial plans for Gateway and in bringing the industry on board as partners as we develop and design our projects.  His experiences working in investment banking, including work on the P3 structure for LaGuardia Airport Terminal B, are directly applicable to our project and we look forward to deploying his talents.”

Sacr, who is the current interim chief financial officer for GDC, is responsible for all financing aspects of the Gateway projects. Before that, he was with Societe Generale for 23 years, most recently heading the bank’s infrastructure financing team for the Americas.

“John has taken GDC and the Gateway Program from idea to reality. From the time he agreed to serve as interim executive director almost three years ago, he has led us in getting the organization off the ground and making it vital in moving the Gateway Program forward. He has been a steadfast and constant voice for the urgency of our projects and has worked with all of our partners, elected officials, and stakeholders to make sure we did everything we could, each day, to build Gateway. His day-to-day leadership will be missed, but we look forward to having him continue as a trusted advisor only a phone call away.  We are enormously grateful to John for his service and professionalism,” Zaro, Tony Coscia and Steven M. Cohen, three members of the GDC board of trustees, jointly said.

As chief administrative officer, Mandel will be responsible for oversight of the organization’s internal structure, day-to-day administration and coordinate with project partners. Prior to the GDC, Mandel was the general counsel and vice president of strategic partnerships for the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp.