When Vice President for New Haven and State Affairs Bruce Alexander ’65 received a community leadership award in October, he issued a challenge to state officials: to improve Connecticut transportation, especially train service to New York City and Tweed-New Haven Regional Airport. In return, Gov. M. Jodi Rell last month appointed Alexander chair of the Connecticut Transportation Strategy Board, which manages transportation initiatives for the state.

“The Board needs to serve all of Connecticut, and there are obviously important issues with respect to our region as well,” said Alexander — who spent more than 25 years as a real estate developer and came to Yale in May 1998 — on Tuesday afternoon. These issues, he added, include the Tweed expansion, enhanced railroad service, better ports and the Route 34 development project in New Haven.

Rell said in a statement that she is “delighted” Alexander has accepted the position.

“He understands our need to support and enhance every mode of transportation in our state —from rails and buses, to airports, roads, bicycles and pedestrians,” she said, adding, “I especially appreciate his capacity to look ahead and think about transportation in the future and how it must remain adaptable to the changing needs of Connecticut’s citizens.”

Alexander was quick to note that his is not the final word on transportation policy. “Specific goals and objectives will ultimately be decided by the legislature and the governor,” he said.

Esther Zuckerman contributed reporting.