Press Release Article


Date: Mar 20, 2019
Press Release Number: 40-2019

Engineer by training brings nearly 30 years of experience to new leadership post

Clarelle DeGraffe, the deputy director of PATH since 2015 and an integral part of a leadership team that has brought significant improvements to the system, will be the new Director of Rail Transit and General Manager of PATH, effective Monday, March 25, the Port Authority announced today. She will replace retiring PATH Director Mike Marino, who announced his intention to retire last fall.

DeGraffe will be responsible for carrying out PATH’s critical mission of moving nearly 300,000 people daily across the Hudson safely and effectively. She will oversee the department’s ambitious capital program, including the ongoing project to replace equipment and rebuild tunnels severely damaged during Superstorm Sandy and the completion of the remaining phases of modernizing its century-old signal system.

In addition to capital programs, DeGraffe will spearhead initiatives aimed at future capacity growth, reliability and enhanced customer experience, building on recent customer facing initiatives, such as real-time next train arrival info on countdown clocks and the RidePATH app.

During her tenure as deputy director, DeGraffe – an engineer by training who has served the Port Authority for 29 years – was instrumental in steering PATH through a series of major modernization and repair projects designed to improve and maintain the system, while also initiating new programs focused on customer experience.

PATH Director/General Manager Mike Marino, who has served as director since 2015 and who has worked in the passenger rail industry for 45 years, will assist DeGraffe during the transition period before retiring early next month. Marino was originally scheduled to retire in January 2019 but postponed the date to assure continuity and oversight of the PTC signal system installation at PATH.

Marino’s outstanding contribution during his tenure efforts include the successful implementation and federal certification of the safety technology Positive Train Control (PTC), installation of a new communications-based signal system, extensive repair and replacement work necessitated by Superstorm Sandy, and a series of new customer service initiatives and enhancements throughout the PATH system.

“We are thrilled that Clarelle has agreed to accept this role of leading PATH forward,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “She has been a dynamic presence both at PATH and throughout the Port Authority for decades, always embracing new challenges with poise and alacrity. While we are losing a true veteran of the railroad in Mike Marino, who will be missed, we are gaining a great leader in Clarelle.”

“We’re confident that, in Clarelle DeGraffe, we have the leader best qualified to continue the great progress PATH has made under Mike’s stewardship,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “She will bring the highest caliber of expertise and leadership to this critical role for the region and for the nearly 300,000 customers who rely on PATH each day. We congratulate Clarelle on her new leadership role, and we thank Mike for his outstanding dedicated service.”

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be selected to lead a department distinguished by so many dedicated and talented men and women, who put their energy, talents and commitment to the PATH riding public out there every day,” said DeGraffe. “I hope to maintain and build on the momentum established under Mike Marino’s leadership in the months and years ahead.”

Prior to being named deputy director in 2015, DeGraffe oversaw PATH’s $3.5 billion capital program and was responsible for the development, funding, and delivery of PATH’s Sandy Recovery Program. She has also held project management roles in World Trade Center Construction and was a driving force in delivering major projects including the World Trade Center Vehicle Security Center, the redevelopment of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, and the Newark AirTrain Extension Program. She is a graduate of the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken with a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering.

Marino was named PATH General Manager/Director in 2015. He joined the Port Authority in 2011 as Superintendent of PATH’s Way & Structures Division, after a long career at Amtrak and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and later assumed the role of Assistant Director/General Superintendent, providing oversight for operations and maintenance functions, before being named PATH Deputy Director in 2014.

In addition to his senior leadership positions at PATH, Amtrak and the MTA, Marino served as Vice President of Rail Transit for the Northeast Region for the engineering firm AECOM. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, having served for four years during the Vietnam War era and later as a reservist prior to beginning his railroad career.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency’s network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit

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