The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced that Joseph J. Lhota officially took over as its executive director. Lhota, who is Gov. Andrew Cuomo's nominee to serve as the MTA's chairman/CEO, will immediately take over the day-to-day operations of the MTA. Acting chairman Andrew Saul will fulfill the duties of the chairman pending Senate confirmation of Lhota's nomination.
"The MTA is the engine that drives our economy and makes our way of life possible here in New York, and we have a responsibility to operate our service as efficiently and effectively as possible," said Lhota. "The MTA is facing a number of difficult fiscal and operating challenges, including funding our vital capital program and continuing to improve service in tough economic times. My focus in the next couple of months is understanding this organization from top-to-bottom, and listening to our employees, customers, and community leaders as we work together to shape an agenda and improve this vital service for all New Yorkers."
Lhota served as the New York City's deputy mayor, operations, under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, where he oversaw day-to-day management of the city and supervised its agencies. He also served as budget director, where he managed the city's $36 billion operating budget and $45 billion capital budget, cut costs, led agency reorganizations and consolidations and implemented performance-based strategic planning. Lhota also served as the commissioner, finance, for New York City and has been a board member of the MTA.
Previously, Lhota served as the executive VP, administration, for The Madison Square Garden Co.
The MTA also announced management changes as Lhota assembles his leadership team. Nuria Fernandez will be chief operating officer, joining the MTA with experience at the top levels of transportation agencies across the country, including Chicago aviation commissioner and deputy administrator at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Catherine Rinaldi, a former MTA general counsel, will serve as chief of staff. Charlie Monheim will remain a part of the MTA leadership team as director, strategic initiatives, focusing on guiding the MTA's technology projects, reducing operating expenses and overseeing labor relations.
As part of this re-organization, the managing director position has been eliminated.