New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has nominated Patrick Foye, a top economic advisor, as executive director of the Port Authority, the bi-state agency responsible for regional bridges, tunnels and airports.

Foye is currently the state's deputy secretary for economic development. He was previously downstate chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, where he was involved in the expansion of Pennsylvania Station and the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. He also served as deputy county executive for Nassau County under county executive Ed Mangano before resigning in January in opposition to Mangano's suit to block a state takeover of the county's finances.

In the private sector, Foye was an attorney for firms Rivkin Radler and Skadden, Arps, as well as executive vice president of Denver-based real estate investment trust Apartment Investment and Management.

I am honored to be recommended for Executive Director of the Port Authority. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, we have begun to re-energize New York's economy and pave the way for job growth in the state. I thank Governor Cuomo for this opportunity and look forward to working closely with him and the Board of Directors at the Port Authority on maintaining and improving the New York metropolitan region's vital transportation, infrastructure and economic development assets, said Foye in a statement.

Foye replaces outgoing executive director Christopher Ward, who will depart at the end of the month. Ward was appointed by Governor David Paterson in 2008, and credited with getting the World Trade Center redevelopment back on track. However, he was said to have a chilly relationship with Cuomo, with state records showing minimal contact between the two.

A point of tension was also the Port's recent toll hikes, which were necessary, in part, to pay for cost overruns at the Trade Center. Ward will remain an advisor to the Port Authority through the end of the year.

The Port Authority must meet its potential as a major economic engine that plans for the region and attracts business on an international scale. We must also improve its operations and maximize the value out of every dollar spent so that it is financially responsible and respects the tax and toll payers, said Cuomo in a statement.

Cuomo also proposed consolidating the Moynihan Station Development Authority and Lower Manhattan Development Corporation with the Port.

The Port Authority's board must approve Foye's nomination.