The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) has named Gregory W. Ehrie, its chief security officer. Before joining the PANYNJ, Ehrie spent more than 20 years in the FBI, including stints as Special Agent in Charge of Intelligence at the New York field office and as Special Agent in Charge of its field office in Newark, N.J.
He succeeds John Bilich, who retired on Dec. 23 after eight years at the agency, where he has led the Port Authority’s safety and security efforts as Chief Security Officer since 2017.
Ehrie will ensure the safety and security of all agency operations and transportation infrastructure. The CSO has broad responsibility for overseeing all aspects of the agency’s strategy to secure the Port Authority from threats to the safety and security of patrons, employees, and facilities. His portfolio will include emergency management, security project management, and security operations across all Port Authority assets and facilities and the Port Authority Police Department.
During his 22-year tenure at the FBI, Ehrie held multiple national and international positions emphasizing intelligence operations and terrorism investigations. Ehrie served as the section chief of the FBI’s Domestic Terrorism Operations Section. In that role, he supervised the functions of the National Joint Terrorism Task Force and the FBI’s Countering Violent Extremism Office. He also served as special Agent in Charge of intelligence at the New York field office, as well as special Agent in charge at the Newark field office.
Before joining the FBI in 1998, Ehrie spent eight years in the U.S. Air Force and is a veteran of the Persian Gulf War. Most recently, he served as vice president and chief security officer at the Anti-Defamation League. Ehrie is a graduate of Manhattan College.
“Greg Ehrie brings a diverse range of skills and experiences to the agency that will ensure our security personnel and apparatus continue to be among the nation’s best,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “We applaud John Bilich for his long, honorable public service career. He is an outstanding leader who truly moved this agency forward. We look forward to Greg building on those accomplishments in the years to come.”
“Greg Ehrie has spent three decades in military, law enforcement, and sensitive intelligence positions, providing him with wide-ranging experience, proven leadership skills, and a clear understanding of the region’s threats. We welcome him to the agency in this critical position as we continue to make public safety our first and foremost priority,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “We thank John Bilich for his exceptional leadership as Chief Security Officer. His tireless efforts to keep the agency’s assets, employees, and customers safe over the last eight years have been superb. The region is grateful for his service.”
Chief Bilich joined the agency in 2015 as the first deputy chief security officer after a distinguished career in policing and security, including 24 years at the NYPD, which he left as deputy commissioner of operations. He also served as first deputy commissioner at the New York State Department of Criminal Justice and first chief investigator for Cy Vance, the former Manhattan district attorney, and Kenneth Thompson, the former Brooklyn district attorney.
Under his leadership, Chief Bilich advocated for the growth of the Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) to its highest staffing levels within the department’s history and established a dedicated counterterrorism unit with a heightened security presence at facilities. Chief Bilich also launched critical security programs and initiatives aligned with global best practices and oversaw the deployment of cutting-edge security technology, such as gunshot detection systems, drone surveillance and detection capabilities, and video surveillance with analytics.
Chief Bilich has made tremendous contributions to the office of the chief security officer and the security portfolio of the Port Authority. He championed heightened programs and initiatives that provide not only critical safety and security protection for customers and for the traveling public that utilize the agency’s transportation facilities every day but also provide critical safety and security programs for employees.