Feinberg Could Become First Woman to Serve as MTA Board Chair

Feinberg Could Become First Woman to Serve as MTA Board Chair
Sarah E. Feinberg

ALBANY—In a shakeup of the leadership of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on June 8 the nomination of Sarah E. Feinberg as Board Chair and the appointment of Janno Lieber as the CEO of the New York MTA. Pat Foye, who has led the agency as president as well as Chairman and CEO for the past four years, will leave the agency July 30 and step into a new role as Interim President and CEO of Empire State Development Corp.

Feinberg would be the first woman to serve as MTA Board Chair and would take the post after leading New York City Transit through the worst public health crisis in over a century. Lieber will serve as CEO effective July 30 after shaping the agency’s historic $51.5-billion capital plan and driving the agency’s robust construction efforts during the COVID crisis as president of MTA Construction & Development. The Chair and CEO will work in close collaboration and partnership to oversee the strategic direction of the agency.

The State Legislature did not act on Gov. Cuomo’s MTA nominations prior to the legislative session’s end earlier this month.

“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,” Gov. Cuomo said. “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.”

Feinberg, said of her nomination, “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.”

Janno Lieber

Lieber added, “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.”

Feinberg is currently the Interim President of the New York City Transit. Before that, she was a member of the MTA Board. She is the founder of Feinberg Strategies, LLC, a strategic business and communications consulting practice focused on the tech sector.

Prior to starting Feinberg Strategies, Feinberg served as the administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration. Feinberg was nominated for the post by President Obama, and later confirmed by the Republican-led U.S. Senate. As FRA administrator, Feinberg developed and enforced rail safety regulations; managed a multi-billion-dollar rail-investment portfolio and led research and technology development programs. Feinberg was the second woman to lead the agency of nearly 1,000 employees in Washington, D.C. and eight regional offices across the country. Prior to joining FRA, Feinberg served as US DOT chief of staff, where she provided strategic advice and counsel to the secretary of transportation regarding operational and legislative initiatives across all modes of transportation, and helped lead the agency and its more than 57,000 employees. From 2009-2010, Feinberg served in the Obama administration as special assistant to the president and senior advisor to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Prior to serving in the White House, Feinberg spent several years on Capitol Hill. Feinberg also served as the director of policy communications at Facebook, and as Bloomberg LP’s director of communications and business strategy. Feinberg also served on the Amtrak Board of Directors during her time as FRA administrator, and currently serves on the StoryCorps Board of Directors. She is a resident of New York and a native of Charleston, West Virginia.

Lieber was appointed Chief Development Officer of the MTA by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in May 2017. Reporting to the MTA Chairman, Lieber is also President of MTA Construction & Development, the organization responsible for capital planning and for the development and delivery of capital projects across the MTA. Lieber also oversees the MTA Real Estate Department and is responsible for integrating real estate planning and economic development into MTA infrastructure projects.

Pat Foye

From 2003 to 2017, Lieber served as President of World Trade Center Properties LLC, where he was responsible for managing all aspects of the Silverstein organization’s efforts to rebuild at the World Trade Center site, including planning, design, and construction issues; business, financing, and legal matters and public affairs, government, and community relations. Earlier in his career, he held positions in the administrations of President Bill Clinton and NYC Mayor Ed Koch and worked as an attorney in private practice.

Foye became Chairman and CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in April 2019, overseeing critical agency priorities and the agency’s day-to-day management.

Previously, he served as President of the MTA from August 2017 through April 2019, providing leadership on modernization initiatives and strategic opportunities, including: leading the push for Central Business District Tolling to fund investment in the transit system, attracting private capital to the MTA, and ensuring the agency remains financially viable by leading cost reduction initiatives. He also served as a member of the MTA Board from 2010 to 2012.

Prior to joining the MTA, Foye led the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as Executive Director for six years, from November 2011 to August 2017. At the Port Authority, he managed day-to-day operations at the bi-state agency and guided the development of the agency’s ten year, $32.2-billion Capital Plan, while overseeing some of the nation’s most significant P3 transactions, including the redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport and the building of a new Goethals Bridge.

Foye also served as Deputy Secretary for Economic Development for Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, the downstate Chairman of ESDC, and Vice Chair and board member of the Long Island Power Authority. He was a Mergers and Acquisitions partner at Skadden Arps and managing partner of the firm’s Brussels, Budapest and Moscow offices, and served as Executive Vice President of AIMCO, a leading multi-family REIT and a component of the S&P 500.

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