From Vaughn College President Dr. Sharon B. DeVivo:

It is with sadness that I inform you of the passing of the Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees, Susan Baer. Sue served Vaughn College for nearly 23 years and was vice chair for 13. She spent most her professional career with The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey having retired as the director of aviation managing the largest airport system in the world. She was the first woman to hold that position and the only person in the agency’s history to have managed all three major regional airports, LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy and Newark-Liberty. In the last three years, she was the principal and global aviation leader at Arup, a leading aviation consulting group, where she travelled extensively providing insight to airports around the world.

Sue was also a frequent contributor to the Vaughn community and provided critical input as we developed the airport management curriculum. She was also a frequent speaker on campus, provided access to her large network of aviation contacts to support students and faculty, and she had a special affinity for encouraging women in aviation. Her most recent contribution was securing Federal Aviation Administrator Michael Huerta as the commencement speaker this past May.

Sue’s enthusiasm and support for this institution and community will be missed. Our sympathies are with her husband, Joseph, and their three children.

In lasting tribute to Susan Baer, her friend and fellow Vaughn College Board Member Thomas Marotta has established a fund to honor a woman who made an enduring impact on aviation and devoted her time and enthusiasm to an institution which she believed made a difference in the lives of students. His gift of $10,000, along with donations from other friends and colleagues, will be used for scholarships that will forever carry her name. Sue and Tom served on Vaughn’s board together for nearly 23 years and both share a passion for the industry. Tom recently retired as the chairman and chief executive officer of Marotta Controls, Inc. in New Jersey, a leading aviation and aerospace technology company. To make a donation, contact Neil Gouveia at or 718.429.6600 ext. 112 or click here.

To read the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s reflection on Sue’s life and career, click here.

To read the Port Authority Portfolio’s reflection on Sue’s life and career, click here.


Susan M. Baer