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Hochul wants to make MTA acting chief Janno Lieber permanent

MTA's Janno Lieber.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin

Governor Kathy Hochul wants to nominate Janno Lieber as the permanent chairperson and chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, a role he’s been serving in an acting capacity for more than three months. 

“Janno, by the way, I’m really looking forward to dropping the word ‘acting’ soon, ok, can we just make this permanent,” the governor announced at a breakfast event hosted by the Association for a Better New York on Nov. 18. 

Lieber, whom Hochul praised as an “extraordinary leader” was tapped for MTA’s top job in July by then-Governor Andrew Cuomo to replace outgoing Chairperson and CEO Pat Foye. 

Cuomo originally wanted to split the top role with Lieber holding the CEO role and former New York City Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg taking over as the first woman chairperson of the transit agency, but that proposal fell apart in the State Legislature and hasn’t been revived since the ex-governor resigned in disgrace in August.

Lieber’s temporary leadership position was set to expire after six months, and Hochul will have to officially nominate Lieber for the job to be confirmed by the State Senate when lawmakers return to Albany in January. 

In a statement, Lieber thanked the governor for his likely nomination. 

“I appreciate the confidence expressed by the Governor and intend to earn a similar level of trust from members of the Senate,” said Lieber. “We are doing great work at the MTA right now and I am eager to build on that momentum.” 

There are still several other temporary roles at the upper levels of the 70,000-strong MTA, including Craig Cipriano who took over as interim president of NYCT for Feinberg, and Frank Annicaro who assumed the acting leadership of the buses division formerly held by Cipriano. 

Lieber was appointed chief development officer in 2017 by Cuomo and he also presided over MTA’s capital construction and managed the agency’s real estate assets.

He most notably worked as a real estate executive for Silverstein Properties between 2003-2017, leading the firm’s effort to rebuild the World Trade Center site after 9/11.

Prior to that, Lieber served in the administrations of President Bill Clinton and Mayor Ed Koch and worked as an attorney in private practice.

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