New York MTA reorganizes leadership roles

June 9, 2021
Pat Foye will lead Empire State Development, Sarah Feinberg will serve as MTA Chair and Janno Lieber will become CEO of MTA.

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) leadership roles are being revised with MTA Chairman and CEO Pat Foye leaving July 30 to become interim president and CEO of Empire State Development.

Foye’s current position will be split with New York City Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg becoming MTA chair and President of MTA Construction & Development Janno Lieber set to become MTA CEO.

"Sarah, Janno and Pat are not only fiercely dedicated public servants, but proven leaders who kept the metropolitan region's transportation network operating efficiently through the worst public health crisis in a generation, and thanks to their tireless efforts, our essential workers were able to get to their destinations and help save lives,” said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. "Moreover, they oversaw and pushed through historic change and construction progress across the MTA, giving the system the upgrades that will better serve riders for generations. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I thank all three of them for their ongoing service and have full confidence they will continue to work their hearts out in their new roles."

The governor’s office says Feinberg, as MTA chair, and Lieber, as MTA CEO, will work in close collaboration and partnership to oversee the strategic direction of the agency.

Feinberg has served as interim president of NYC Transit since March 2020, where she led the agency's 53,000-person workforce through the COVID-19 crisis. She is credited with working on NYC Transit’s cleaning and disinfecting campaign during COVID-19, implemented the nation's first mask mandate on public transit and added additional security measures to the system including an aggressive security camera program.

NYC Transit also launched its family liaison program under Feinberg’s leadership, which focused on caring for the families of MTA employees lost to COVID-19 and the distribution of COVID-19 family benefits. NYC Transit also launched a first-of-its-kind memorial honoring those lost colleagues, which drew national praise. Feinberg has also focused on the culture of transit in the New York Metropolitan region - launching a program with social media influencer NY Nico, which brought iconic voices to subway announcements.

She will be the first woman to serve as MTA Board chair and was the second woman to lead the Federal Railroad Administration.

"I am thrilled to be stepping into a position that allows me to continue to play a significant role in how our subway and bus systems operate, but to also have even more of an impact in shaping the future of the agency, and of transportation in this city and region. There should be no higher priority than ensuring we are doing all we can to bring ridership back - and as ridership comes back, so will the city's economic recovery," said Feinberg.

The governor’s office says Lieber built the MTA Construction & Development office from the ground-up and oversaw the approval of the agency’s $51.5 billion 2020-2024 Capital Program. He successfully managed the on-time and on-budget completion of the L Train Tunnel Project, the Long Island Rail Road Double Track, the completion of 11 ADA stations in 2020 and the rehabilitation of the F-line Rutgers Tube in record time - the last of the Superstorm Sandy-damaged subway tunnels.

His portfolio includes ongoing megaprojects such as East Side Access, the $2.5 billion LIRR Third Track project, Metro-North Penn Access (which will add four new stations in the East Bronx), Penn Station reconstruction and expansion and Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway, which will extend the line through East and Central Harlem.

Lieber also helped spearhead the agency's successful efforts to secure $14 billion from the federal government in the face of the pandemic-induced financial crisis.

"The COVID crisis proved - once again - that mass transit is New York's linchpin, in good times and bad. Now we need to keep building a system that connects people from all communities to jobs, education and opportunity. I look forward to taking on this important new role and to lead MTA in support of the New York City region's economic revival," said Lieber.

Foye added, “I am proud of the way the MTA prepared for and responded to the pandemic, and the way our heroic employees - heroes moving heroes - carried first responders and essential workers to the frontlines to do their jobs. I am also proud and grateful for the extraordinary amount of federal COVID funding we advocated for and received to support a stronger MTA, building on the fiscal efficiencies we implemented and the successful approval of Central Business District Tolling. I know the strong gains we have made will continue under Sarah and Janno's watch. I look forward to serving as Interim President and CEO of Empire State Development and working with Chairman Steve Cohen to continue innovating in support of New York's post-pandemic economic recovery."

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