Governor Cuomo Announces Janno Lieber to Serve at MTA’s Acting Board Chair and CEO

In July 29, 2021

Lieber’s New Role Effective July 31 While Legislation to Proceed with NYCT Interim President Sarah Feinberg’s Historic Nomination as MTA Board Chair Awaits State Senate Approval


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced Janno Lieber will serve as Acting Board Chair and CEO of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, effective July 31, while legislation to proceed with outgoing New York City Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg’s nomination as Board Chair awaits approval from the State Senate. Legislation already passed by the Assembly would split the role of MTA Board Chair and CEO. Governor Cuomo announced in June he will nominate Feinberg as the  first woman to serve as Board Chair and Lieber as CEO, pending Senate confirmation. Patrick Foye, who has led the agency as President and then Chairman and CEO for the past four years, will leave the agency July 30 and will later step into a new role as Interim President and CEO of Empire State Development.

“Our public transportation systems will be the backbone of New York’s comeback as more and more people return to work in-person,” Governor Cuomo said. “Janno knows what it takes to make the MTA work for the millions of customers who rely on this system every day to get to their destination, and he will serve as Acting Board Chair and CEO. I thank him for his devoted service and the role he played in managing a wide-range of transformative projects across the MTA system and for keeping capital projects moving safely during the COVID-19 public health crisis. But at this critical time in state history, I believe the best long-term approach to leading the MTA would be to have two strong, experienced leaders at the helm – Sarah Feinberg as the first woman Chair and Janno Lieber as CEO. While the Senate has yet to act, the MTA nominees and leaders continue to be available for policy discussions and confirmation hearings, as they have been since the legislation was introduced nearly two months ago.”

Janno Lieber, incoming Acting Chairman and CEO, said, “I am excited to get to work leading the MTA’s continued recovery from the pandemic, though I am disappointed I won’t yet be working alongside my supremely qualified friend Sarah Feinberg. We are still counting on the Senate to act on the Governor’s proposal and approve her historic nomination as the MTA’s first woman Chair.  In the meantime, I thank the Governor for the opportunity to serve New Yorkers and support the region’s ongoing revival.”

Sarah Feinberg, Interim President of New York City Transit, said, “As we wait for the State Senate to return to session, the Governor, Janno and I agree that this is the best path forward to provide stability and continuity of leadership at the MTA. While I am disappointed in the Senate’s delay in taking up deliberations of our nominations, I have no doubt Janno will do a tremendous job in the acting role. He is a visionary leader who has proven time and again during his tenure at Construction & Development that he can deliver on key projects in moments of crisis. I hope to join him soon in leading the MTA and region through this next chapter.”

Lieber is currently President of MTA Construction & Development, an 1,800-person organization he built from the ground-up. Lieber oversaw the approval of the groundbreaking $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 historic completion of 11 ADA stations in 2020 despite the COVID-19 public health crisis, 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 like 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.

Prior to his work at MTA, Lieber served as President of World Trade Center Properties for 14 years, where he managed the multi-billion-dollar development of Silverstein Properties’ projects at the World Trade Center. Before that, Lieber headed public-private development at Lawrence Ruben Company, and, as a consultant, worked with clients such as Chicago Transit Authority, New Jersey Transit, and Penn Station Redevelopment Corp. – the agency then responsible for the Moynihan Train Hall project.

During the Clinton Administration, Lieber served as Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Earlier in his career, Lieber practiced law at the New York firm of Patterson, Belknap Webb & Tyler and served as a transportation policy advisor in the office of New York City Mayor Ed Koch.

Lieber is a graduate of Harvard University and New York University Law School.