Charles A. Gargano
Doctor of Commercial Science
May 25, 2005
Professional engineer, ambassador, public servant, civic leader, chairman and chief executive officer, you, Charles A. Gargano, are a man who can take ideas and find a way to make them real. We honor you for your achievements in the world of development as well as for your contributions to the city and state of New York, especially to us and our neighbors in lower Manhattan.
You were born in Sant’Angelo dei Lombardi, in the province of Avellino, Italy. Coming to the United States at age 4, and settling in Brooklyn, New York, you eventually graduated from Farleigh Dickinson University with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering, followed by a master’s in business administration and a master’s in civil engineering from Manhattan College. Early in your career you worked as a construction engineer for J.D. Posillico, Inc.
Your public service began in 1981 when you were named deputy administrator of the Federal Urban Mass Transportation Administration by President Ronald Reagan. In 1988 you were appointed ambassador to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago by President Reagan and were reappointed in 1989 by President George Bush. In 1984 you served as director of President Reagan’s electoral campaign in New York and served a second term in this position for former President George Bush’s campaign in 1992. Since 1995 you have held the position of chairman and CEO of New York State’s Empire State Development Corporation, positions you were appointed to by Governor George E. Pataki. You also serve as vice chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. In these positions, you advise the governor on economic policy, implement key initiatives and programs to strengthen New York State’s economic competitiveness, and oversee billions of dollars of economic development projects. Under your leadership, capital investments to New York State have included the revitalization of Times Square and lower Manhattan, the redevelopment of a new Pennsylvania Station, and the ongoing renewal of Niagara Falls.
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, you took the lead in energizing economic recovery and overseeing federally subsidized programs for New York. In the years since, you have directed the state’s efforts in the redevelopment of lower Manhattan, including restoring and building transportation projects and rebuilding the business community.
For your many professional accomplishments and for your dedication to the renewal of New York State and City, Pace University is honored to confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Commercial Science, honoris causa, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereunto.
Aniello A. Bianco '61
Chairman, Board of Trustees
David A. Caputo
President, Pace University