168th Commencement: Watch Live
For Kevin Rampe ’91, who was closely involved in the rebuilding of the World Trade Center, the opening of the new memorial on the 10 th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks reflects the culmination of a personal and professional journey.
In the early days of the rebuilding process, Rampe was appointed by former Governor George Pataki as the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) president, where he served from 2002 until his resignation in 2005. During his time with the LMDC, he oversaw the $12-billion redevelopment of Ground Zero.
Rampe was the leader of the enormously costly and emotionally complex project, in charge of dealing with a host of agencies and constituencies, including politicians, architects and transportation experts, as well as helping the families of the 2,749 victims who died at the site on Sept. 11, 2001.
“There’s so much emotion attached to every decision made down here,” he said in an interview with Crain’s Business Review in 2005. “But I’ve learned that in most cases, it’s important to make a decision to keep the process moving.”
Rampe’s position of leadership for such a volatile issue resulted in an immense amount of scrutiny, but his handling of the process resulted in high praise from many sources. The New York Times referred to him as “a politically skillful ringmaster who had the confidence of the governor’s office in day-to-day discussions, negotiations and planning.”
During Rampe’s time on the project, a site plan and memorial design were chosen, as well as the cultural institutions for the site, and 120 acres of parks were created in Lower Manhattan.
Prior to working with the LMDC, Rampe was an associate at Shearman & Sterling, where he was assigned to the firm’s project in Kuwait, helping with the rebuilding efforts after the first Gulf War. He also held a number of posts under Governor Pataki, including First Assistant Counsel to the Governor and service as First Deputy of the Insurance Department.
He now serves as the general counsel for ACE North America, after having previously been the global compliance and business ethics officer for the ACE Group of Companies. The ACE Group is composed of leading insurance and reinsurance companies that serve a variety of clients around the world. He is responsible for all legal matters for the company’s North American insurance operations.
Rampe is still closely involved with the LMDC, with a stint as chairman of the board and most recently as a member of the organization’s audit committee. He is also a founding director and a member of the Executive Committee of the National September 11 th Memorial Foundation.
Rampe has four children, all under the age of 10, and lives with his wife, Christine, in New Hope, Pa, outside Philadelphia.