James “Jim” Simpson is an advisor at Ascendant Industries, where he plays a key role in devising and implementing growth strategies for Ascendant holding companies.
A logistics industry leader and distinguished public servant, Jim served as the former commissioner of New Jersey’s Department of Transportation, was appointed by President Bush as the head of the Federal Transit Administration for the United States Department of Transportation and is the non-executive Chairman of Victory Van Lines, a multinational logistics company.
He began his career in transportation over 30 years ago as a tractor-trailer driver for a local moving company and advanced within the company to shape it into a major international business. For his work in the moving industry, the U.S. Department of Commerce honored Simpson with an International Trade Award for service excellence.
Jim was additionally appointed as the commissioner of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) where he served for 10 years, including stints as chairman of the Real Estate & Planning Committee and the Safety and Security Committee. Immediately following 9/11, he was designated the primary MTA Board liaison to the Governor’s and Mayor’s Offices in coordinating transit activities at the World Trade Center site.
Gov. Pataki also appointed Simpson as a member of the New York State Job Development Authority Board. Under New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s administration, he was appointed Honorary Deputy Police Commissioner for the New York City Police Department. The New York City Police Department’s Honor Legion also honored him with a membership. In addition, Mayor Giuliani appointed him to the New York City Work Force Investment Board.
Simpson’s other civic roles include serving as a director of the New York City Partnership and Chamber of Commerce; and, chairman of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce. President George W. Bush nominated and the United States Senate confirmed Simpson to the St. Lawrence Seaway Advisory Board, where he was elevated to chairman.
He graduated magna cum laude from St. John’s University, with a B.S. in managerial science and economics. He is an Alumnus of the David Rockefeller Fellowship Program and a British American Fellow.