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Janno Lieber Confirmed as 15th Chair of the MTA

Updated January 20, 2022 10:30 p.m.

The New York State Senate today confirmed Janno Lieber as the Chair and CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) following his nomination on Jan. 8 by Governor Kathy Hochul. Lieber has been serving as MTA Acting Chair and CEO since July 2021 and becomes the Authority’s 15th Chair since it was founded in 1968. In that time, Lieber has led the MTA’s recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic, spearheading the hiring of transit workers, accelerating capital renewal efforts despite financial uncertainty, and restoring the public’s confidence in the system.

“I’d like to thank Governor Hochul and the Senate for their confidence,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “Bringing back customers is our single highest priority and that means providing the safest, most reliable, and most affordable service we can.”

Lieber has worked in public service and on public projects for decades, starting his career in the Ed Koch administration, where he worked with the MTA from a position in City Hall during the agency’s first great revival in the 1980s under Bob Kiley and David Gunn.

Prior to being appointed Acting Chair and CEO of the MTA in July 2021, Lieber served as President of MTA Construction & Development.  

At Construction & Development, 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  Train Tunnel Project, the Long Island Rail Road Double Track, and dramatically improved the pace of accessibility upgrade projects, completing a historic 11 ADA stations in 2020 despite the COVID-19 public health crisis. Lieber also led the rehabilitation effort of the F line Rutgers Tube, the last of the Superstorm Sandy-damaged subway tunnels, in record time. 

Other megaprojects Lieber has overseen include East Side Access, LIRR Mainline Expansion-Third Track, Metro-North Penn Station Access, the 42 St Connector project and the reconstruction and expansion of Penn Station. 

Lieber also helped spearhead the agency's successful efforts to secure $14.5 billion from the federal government in the face of the pandemic-induced financial crisis. 

Prior to his arrival at the MTA, Lieber served as President of World Trade Center Properties for 14 years, where he managed the multibillion dollar development of Silverstein Properties' projects as the World Trade Center was rebuilt following 9/11. Before that, Lieber headed public-private development at Lawrence Ruben Company, and, as a consultant, worked with clients including 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. He lives with his wife in Brooklyn. 

Elizabeth Velez Confirmed as MTA Board Member 

The New York State Senate today also confirmed Elizabeth Velez as a member of the MTA Board following her nomination on Jan. 8 by Governor Kathy Hochul. Velez is Governor Hochul’s first board member appointment to the MTA Board. 

“Elizabeth Velez is an excellent addition to the MTA Board,” said MTA Chair and CEO Lieber. “Elizabeth not only has a deep understanding of the value of transportation to New Yorkers and brings a wealth of experience in large-scale capital projects. That experience will be vital to the execution of the MTA’s historic capital program that will modernize and expand the transit network and provide enhanced equity and accessibility to New Yorkers in the years ahead.” 

“The transit system is the critical connector for New Yorkers,” said MTA Board Member Elizabeth Velez. “I am excited join the board at such an important time. Together we will help ensure that the incoming federal funding for infrastructure is put to good use, and as Chair Lieber said, brings the MTA system into the 21st Century. I’d like to again thank Governor Hochul for the nomination and the Senate for confirmation, I cannot wait to get started.” 

Velez is currently the President of the Velez Organization, a second-generation construction firm started in 1972 by her father, Andrew Velez. To her credit are hundreds of projects which have come to fruition under her direction, including over 600 units of housing made affordable by State and Federal grants in the Bronx and Harlem, and over ten billion dollars of significant educational, healthcare and large-scale projects throughout New York. 

She is a Trustee of Boricua College; an accredited private institution serving primarily Latinas through three campuses in New York. She serves on the advisory boards of numerous New York City and New York State agencies, industry non-profits, and groups supporting mentorship and scholarships for youth.