Catherine Rinaldi Named as President of Metro-North Railroad
The MTA Metro-North Railroad is welcoming its sixth President: Catherine Rinaldi, a veteran of the Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road, will become the first woman to serve in this role. Rinaldi has served as Acting President of Metro-North since July 2017, and previously was Metro-North’s Executive Vice President, beginning in 2015.
“Cathy is the best person to continue to push forward the progress that Metro-North has made in renewing the railroad and enhancing the confidence of its customers,” Chairman Lhota said. “She brings 15 years of dedicated service to the MTA, a disarmingly calm management style, a razor-sharp intellect, and an uncanny ability to break problems down into their component parts to quickly find a practical solution.”
Rinaldi served as General Counsel for the MTA between 2003 and 2007 before taking on that role at the Long Island Rail Road, through 2011. In that year, she became Chief of Staff for the MTA, a position she held until 2015.
“Everyone who has had the good fortune of working with Cathy knows she inspires confidence in those around her through a mixture of leadership by example, evenhandedness and commitment to core principles,” said MTA Managing Director Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim. “She never loses sight of concern for customer experience.”
Metro-North Railroad is the second-busiest commuter railroad in the country, providing 86.5 million rides a year between Grand Central Terminal and 123 stations in nine counties in New York and Connecticut. Rinaldi becomes the first woman to serve as president.
“I’m honored and humbled to be offered this position and deeply appreciative of the confidence that Joe and Ronnie have placed in me,” Rinaldi said. “Since I came to Metro-North, the railroad’s dedicated employees have made me proud to be a part of their team. I look forward to working with everyone at the railroad to affirm and strengthen Metro-North’s commitment to safety and customer service.”
Rinaldi graduated summa cum laude from Yale and earned her law degree from the University of Virginia. She was born in Brooklyn, raised in Huntington, Long Island, and now resides in Westchester County with her husband and son.
BRIG. GEN. CINDY JEBB
Nearly 40 years later, the dream continues
Story by Michelle Eberhart Assistant Editor
August 25th, 2016 | In Focus, News
In the mid-1970s, then-high school student Cindy Glazier had never heard of the U.S. Military Academy. After reading an article in Women’s Sports magazine about the brand new women’s basketball team, “The Sugar Smacks,” she decided West Point was where she was meant to be. Nearly 40 years later, Brig. Gen. Cindy Jebb has become the first female Dean of the Academic Board, accomplishing more than her teenage self would have ever dreamed.
Jebb was raised in New City, New York, roughly 25 miles south of the U.S. Military Academy. While she didn’t come from a military background, she knew the West Point values aligned with her own.
“As I read about the first women’s basketball team, I learned about West Point and the values of ‘Duty, Honor, Country’ and the concepts of developing the whole person, and service, really hooked me,” Jebb said. “I very much had in my head that this is how I wanted to contribute going forward.”
From that moment on, Jebb dedicated herself to the ideals of the Academy, the place which soon became her new home.
She came to West Point in 1978 as a member of the third class to accept women. In her first year, she joined the volleyball, softball and basketball teams; but after her first year she concentrated on volleyball, eventually becoming the team captain. She graduated and commissioned as a second lieutenant in the military intelligence branch.
During her first year as a cadet, she met her classmate and future husband, Joel. After graduating and serving in the 1st Armored Division and III Corps, the pair earned their Masters Degrees at Duke University in 1992, where they had their first two children, Ben and Alex, in 1991 and 1992, respectively.
Eventually, they returned to their rockbound highland home as U.S. Army captains to teach.Joel taught in the Department of English and Cindy in the Department of Social Sciences. The two had their third child, Olivia, at Keller Army Hospital, and Jebb says the Academy has greatly impacted their family.
“Having the opportunity to interact with cadets has always been a part of our family life,” Jebb said. “West Point has been intertwined with who we are as a family.”
Jebb sees intellectual growth as a key component of developing leaders of character who think critically, internalize their professional identity, and employ their education to help build the future of the Army and the nation.
“I have enjoyed exploring my discipline of comparative politics,” she said. “And my passion for the discipline and its importance to future officers has inspired my teaching.”
While serving as a “SOSH” instructor, Jebb had opportunities to pursue field research in Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East and more. She explored legitimacy and state stability and eventually published three books, two of them co-authored with colleagues, highlighting some of this research.
“I enjoy merging together my love of scholarship, national security and the military,” Jebb noted.
She received her doctorate degree from Duke University in 1997 and her MA in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in 2000.
Jebb came back to West Point for the third time with a Ph.D. and a whole lot of experience after serving at the National Security Agency. She then served as the Director of Comparative Politics and Deputy Head before serving three and a half years as the Professor and Head of the Department of Social Sciences.
On June 24, 2016, Jebb was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General and invested as the U.S. Military Academy Dean of the Academic Board.
“I saw this opportunity as a way to give back by collaborating with staff and faculty to continually advance our institution,” she said. “And that’s something I’m very inspired to do because of how much I believe in the Academy and its mission.”
As the newly appointed Dean, Jebb has outlined her priorities into three broad focus points—People, Curriculum and Resources.
- People—“I approach this priority in two different ways. The first approach is managing talent by attracting the best and brightest cadets, staff and faculty and then ensuring we are properly developing, employing and retaining that talent. The second way to perceive the priority is through relationship building. It is important to set the conditions that provide faculty and cadets the opportunity to engage and collaborate with one another, across different departments, the Academy and beyond.
- Curriculum—“I want to make sure that we deliberately and thoughtfully implement some of the work that’s been done over the last couple years. It is important to inculcate a culture of improvement because curriculum change is evolutionary.”
- Resources—“It is my job to make sure the departments have the time, space and resources to do their work. We are working with the USMA staff and taking a real hard look at our strategy for sustainment and renovation of facilities as well as constructing a new academic building. These facilities are critical to adapt to new pedagogies and remain competitive for the best talent in America. We are also exploring how to decrease the staff and faculty’s administrative and logistical burdens and how we might re-imagine a calendar that provides real quality time for study and faculty work. Every past assessment we have conducted highlights the scarcity of time—our most precious resource.”
Aside from implementing her priorities, Jebb is excited to take on the new role.
“I’m most looking forward to getting to know people across the Academy to learn from them, to collaborate with them, and to gain insights on critical issues concerning the Academy,” Jebb said. “Together, we’ll work to ensure that our Academy continually advances so that we are preparing our graduates to lead in an increasingly complex, dangerous and uncertain world.”
In January, Brig. Gen. Diana Holland became the first female Commandant at West Point, starting off 2016 as a year for progress. Not to mention, it marked the 40th year anniversary for accepting women at USMA.
“There’s been tremendous advancement on all fronts. As I look back on my time as a cadet, not only with regard to gender integration, but rather the integration of diversity, I note that overall, we have moved in a positive direction in these areas,” Jebb stated. “Additionally, it’s great to see every program advance: the academic, military and physical programs as well as the character program that infuses everything.”
According to Jebb, diversity, in all its forms, enhances the mission.
“There are very few places where everyone learns, lives and trains together, so what a terrific opportunity to learn from different perspectives, ideas and points of view,” Jebb explained. “By incorporating diversity and inclusivity into the culture of West Point, cadets are better able to become officers who lead inclusively and value and capitalize on their Soldiers’ strengths.”
Jebb says this is highly important in the complex world the cadets will be entering.
“When you look at the world today and the pace of change, our graduates are facing a time like no other time, one of increasing complexity, uncertainty, danger. It is so important that we are providing them the academic grounding, which is our liberal education, to lead during this time,” Jebb said. “That academic grounding will allow them to think through these really hard problems and embrace the fact that they need to be ready to form and be part of diverse teams, whether that is with other militaries, NGOs or other elements of civil society.
“I’m honored to be working as a part of the leader team with Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen, Jr., Brig. Gen. Diana Holland and Mr. Boo Corrigan serving a common purpose as articulated in the mission,” she added. “The stakes are too high to provide anything less than an excellent foundation for our graduates.”
Forty years after the “Sugar Smacks” graced the pages of the Women’s Sports magazine, Brig. Gen. Cindy Jebb will be setting the standards as the first female Dean at West Point.