TRENTON, NJ (November 6, 2008) - The Board of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority (SDA) today voted to appoint Commissioner Kris Kolluri of the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) as its Chief Executive Officer.
"We are honored and thrilled to have someone of Kris' caliber, background and management experience join the SDA as we embark on the next critically important phase of schools development,” said Barry Zubrow, Chairman of the SDA Board. “Our next CEO’s mission is to deliver the most effective and efficient schools construction program possible while maintaining, and improving upon, the controls implemented under Scott Weiner. We believe Kris will provide excellent direction for the organization and the highest accountability for the funds with which we are entrusted."
Kolluri's appointment will take effect on December 1, 2008. Kolluri succeeds Scott Weiner, who recently announced that he would be leaving.
"I am honored to be appointed CEO of the Schools Development Authority, and I am eager to fulfill the important mission of providing school infrastructure for the State's children," Commissioner Kolluri said. "I thank Governor Corzine, Chairman Zubrow and the SDA Board for trusting me to lead this agency. Investing in infrastructure through SDA will stimulate the economy at this critical time for New Jersey."
Kolluri has served as NJDOT Commissioner since March 13, 2006. In this capacity, Kolluri also serves as Chairman of NJ TRANSIT, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and the South Jersey Transportation Authority, overseeing a total of 17,000 employees, more than $3.6 billion in capital funds and over $2 billion in operating funds.
Under Commissioner Kolluri's leadership, NJDOT has increased its efficiency and consolidated New Jersey's transportation agencies to create a seamless statewide transportation network. As NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman, Kolluri championed the largest mass transit capital program in State history. NJDOT for the first time created a Ten-Year Capital Program that identified long-term infrastructure needs and developed a sustained investment strategy that will maintain and improve our transit and roadway networks. NJDOT also provided a comprehensive capital investment analysis in order to ensure the continued safety of New Jersey’s bridges. In addition, Kolluri developed new regulations pertaining to truck access and goods movement.
Kolluri previously served as Chief of Staff as well as Assistant Commissioner of Intergovernmental Relations for NJDOT. He served as counselor to the Commissioner and managed the development and implementation of the department's legislative and regulatory policies and communications strategies.
Prior to working in state government, Kolluri held a variety of top positions in Congressional offices. Most recently, he served as a Senior Policy Adviser to House Democratic Leader Richard A. Gephardt, heading the Member Support Program, which was established to help freshman Members of Congress design and implement long-term strategic initiatives. In 1998, Kolluri was tapped to be special adviser to Congressman Gephardt on India and Indian-American affairs. Before he worked for Congressman Gephardt, Kolluri served as Congressman Robert E. Andrews' Legislative Director and his principal staffer on the International Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.
Kolluri received a Bachelor of Science degree in Management and Marketing from Rutgers University, a Master's degree in International Business from Johns Hopkins University and a law degree from Georgetown University. The 39-year-old lives in West Windsor with his wife and two daughters.
Weiner praised the selection of Kolluri as his successor. "I am extremely pleased to be followed by a person of Kris' caliber. Kris' accomplishments speak for themselves, and I feel he will do a tremendous job of providing safe, modern schools for the students of New Jersey."
Said Zubrow: "I would also like to thank Scott for the terrific work he has done at the SDA and for his leadership as we overhauled this agency. Under Scott’s direction, the SDA underwent a complete transformation, including complete accountability for project budgets, spending and completion. He also recruited a highly qualified senior management team that is capable of executing the breadth of projects the agency has undertaken. It has been an honor to have had Scott as a partner in this effort."
The SDA has opened 38 school facilities projects, impacting 28,000 students, since its establishment. Reforms were adopted that were considered prerequisites for additional funding, leading to the Governor’s signing of legislation on July 9, 2008 authorizing $3.9 billion in new funding. Among them was the project charter initiative, establishing the budget, scope and schedule of a project at the outset, and the institution of an aggressive cost recovery program that is recouping millions of dollars for significant project errors by architects, contractors and project management firms. Change orders have decreased through ending the practices of bidding projects out for construction prior to design completion and starting design prior to full land assemblage.
Overall, the SDA has completed 44 new schools and 41 major renovations and additions, along with nearly 500 health, safety and other projects in SDA (formerly Abbott) Districts. An additional 18 are under construction. In addition, the SDA completed 19 projects in Regular Operating Districts, with seven under construction.
Governor’s Press Release