John T. Hanson
Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Hanson first came to the Delaware River Port Authority in 2002 as a commissioner and chair of the board’s finance committee. In November 2004, he became the Authority’s Chief Financial Officer, a position he held until he was appointed acting Chief Executive Officer in January 2014 and Chief Executive Officer in May 2014.
As CEO, Mr. Hanson emphasizes stewardship and public service as the root of the Authority’s mission and purpose, saying, “We are stewards of the important transportation assets and other resources. We hold them in trust for their owners: the public. We protect, maintain and operate them on behalf of the community. The domains of that stewardship includes the Authority’s transportation assets –— bridge and transit infrastructure -— as well as the human and financial resources that are dedicated to serving the community."
He is a practitioner of the Lean Six Sigma business process improvement methodology, in which he has attained the level of black belt. Beginning in 2009, he initiated a Lean Six Sigma pilot program for more than 100 participants from DRPA and PATCO. A dozen teams completed process improvement projects in areas ranging from procurement and contracting procedures to the budget process to the process for planning capital improvement projects. The recommendations generated by the teams helped reduce time and redundancies and led to increases in productivity at the Authority. “The Lean Government program dramatically demonstrated the talent and skills of our employees as well the power of teamwork and collaborative effort,” Hanson says.
Mr. Hanson brings both public and private sector experience to the job. He was Chief Financial Officer and Vice-President of Finance for a large healthcare firm in Cherry Hill, New Jersey until he joined the administration of New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman in 1998. He served as Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives with the Department of Commerce, and represented the Secretary of Commerce on the boards of numerous development authorities and task forces. In addition, he served on the New Jersey Sales and Use Tax Commission from 2000 to 2002. He returned to private industry in 2002 as Executive Vice President and General Manager of a large New Jersey-based recycling/manufacturing firm, where he remained until coming to the DRPA in 2004.
Mr. Hanson currently serves as chairman of the board of trustees of Camden County College in Blackwood, New Jersey and as a director on the board of directors of the African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP) in Philadelphia. He served as the deputy mayor of the Borough of Audubon, New Jersey from 1997 to 2001.
Mr. Hanson is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the State of New Jersey and a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). He graduated magna cum laude from Drexel University in 1990 with a BS in accounting. He earned an MBA from St. Joseph's University in May 2007, graduating with honors. Additionally, he has earned certificates from Cornell University in Executive Leadership (2008), Change Management (2009), and Leading Management Teams (2009).
A lifelong learner, Mr. Hanson began studying improvisational comedy at Philly Improv Theater in January 2014. “I got interested when I heard it was recommended for business leaders,” he says. “Improv demands that you listen, collaborate and react at the top of your intelligence. You learn to trust and support your teammates.”