Louis J. Gambaccini Civic Engagement Series: Toward Better Citizenship

The Gambaccini Civic Engagement Series was established to honor Lou Gambaccini’s legacy in public service and his lifelong dedication to upholding the highest standards of civic responsibility.

About the Gambaccini Civic Engagement Series

The Louis J. Gambaccini Civic Engagement Series was designed to promote civic engagement through an annual discussion of timely and enduring issues of great significance, with the objective of generating real civil discourse and action. The program was established through the generous support of Lou Gambaccini’s family, friends and colleagues to honor his outstanding legacy in public service and his lifelong dedication to upholding the highest standards of civic responsibility, always striving and inspiring others to leave communities better and more beautiful than they found them.

“We will strive for the ideals and sacred things of the city, both alone and with many, we will unceasingly seek to quicken the sense of public duty; we will revere and obey the city’s laws; we will transmit this city not only not less, but greater, better and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.”
–From the Oath of the Athenian City-State

About Louis J. Gambaccini

Louis J. Gambaccini was a highly respected figure in New Jersey, perhaps best known for his role in creating New Jersey Transit, the nation’s first statewide public transit agency. His final public service role was as senior fellow emeritus at the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy He served at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for three decades in progressively responsible positions, including 12 years as vice president and general manager of PATH, where he was recognized for his strong regional perspective in solving transportation issues. While at PATH, he was responsible for the construction and operations of the World Trade Center PATH Station.

In the late 1970s, NJ Governor Brendan Byrne selected him to serve as commissioner of transportation. Under his leadership, NJ Transit was created to bring order to the state’s disparate bus and rail systems. Gambaccini served as the first (and founding) chairman of NJ Transit. In 1981 he returned to the Port Authority as assistant executive director. Under his leadership, the Port Authority facilitated the rebirth of the ferry system and founded TRANSCOM, a regional consortium of transportation agencies, and the Transit Center, the initiator of corporate subsidy programs for public transportation. After retiring from the Port Authority, Gambaccini served as general manager of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority for more than eight years.

Gambaccini shared reflections on his career in public service during an interview with the Eagleton Center on the American Governor.


Program Donors

This series has been made possible by generous support from:
Dinesh C. Agrawal
Catherine T. Sweeney Arnone
Lillian and Edward Borrone
Michael Burns
Anne P. Canby
Timothy L. Carden and
Amy M. Rosen
Mortimer L. Downey, III
Tom Downs
Matthew and Deborah Edelman
Mary Alice Lessing Evans
Larry Filler and Nancy Johnson
Deborah Wathen Finn
Louis J. Gambaccini
The Gambaccini Family
Barbara K. Gannon
Alfred Harf
Catherine M. Hawn and
Robert J. Fitzpatrick
David W. Johnson and
Terri A. Brady
Richard and Victoria Kelly
Laurenti Consultants
Melvin R. and Kathleen A. Lehr
Kenneth S. and Judith A. Levy
Charles J. Maikish
John McGoldrick
Kyra McGrath
Jerome C. Premo
Arlee T. Reno
Howard Roberts
Richard Roberts
Martin and Lesley Robins
Richard Sarles
Dominick Servedio
Robert L. Smartt
Linda M. Spock
James Weinstein
Theresa Wynne
New Jersey Alliance for Action
New York Building Congress