MTA Chairman Patrick Foye of Sands Point to leave transit agency

Rose Weldon
Patrick Foye of Sands Point will leave his roles as chair and CEO of the MTA to lead the Empire State Development Corporation. (Photo by Robert Pelaez)
Patrick Foye of Sands Point will leave his roles as chair and CEO of the MTA to lead the Empire State Development Corporation. (Photo by Robert Pelaez)

After more than four years as chairman and CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Patrick Foye of Sands Point will leave his positions to serve as interim president and CEO of the Empire State Development Corporation beginning July 30, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.

Foye will be succeeded in his role as board chairman by Sarah Feinberg, current interim president of New York City Transit and the first woman to serve in the position. In his
role as CEO of the transit agency, he will be replaced by the current president of MTA Construction and Development, Janno Lieber.

“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,” Cuomo said in a statement.

“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.”

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Foye has served as chairman and CEO of the MTA for more than four years, overseeing North America’s largest transit agency and its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also led efforts to stabilize the MTA’s finances by securing over $14 billion in critically needed funding from Congress, developing a national coalition of transportation agencies that secured more than $32 billion in emergency federal funds for transit agencies across the country.

Prior to joining the MTA, Foye led the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as executive director from November 2011 to August 2017 where he oversaw some of the nation’s most significant transactions, including the redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport and the building of a new Goethals Bridge as well as the development and adoption of the agency’s 10-year, $32.2 billion capital plan.

Foye also served as deputy secretary for Economic Development for Cuomo, and vice chair and board member of the Long Island Power Authority, following a career in law and real estate as a Mergers & Acquisition partner at Skadden Arps and executive vice president of AIMCO, a leading multi-family REIT.

Steven M. Cohen currently chairs Empire State Development and welcomed Foye in a statement.

“Throughout the COVID crisis, the incredible team of public servants at Empire State Development led by Eric Gertler was at the forefront, making sure hospitals and first responders across New York had the resources they needed to serve the people and making sure the economy of the state weathered the unprecedented storm,” Cohen said. “As New York makes its comeback, under Eric’s guidance we have started seeking out the opportunities that will jump-start regional economies and to reimagine how best to invest in New York’s future. We anticipate and welcome incoming Interim President Pat Foye into our ESD family. Pat is a tested leader who guided the MTA through its reform and through the worst days of the pandemic.”

Foye issued a statement on the role of the MTA in the pandemic.

“I am proud of the way the MTA prepared for and responded to the pandemic, and the way our heroic employees – heroes moving heroes – carried first responders and essential workers to the front lines to do their jobs,” Foye said. “I am also proud and grateful for the extraordinary amount of federal COVID funding we advocated for and received to support a stronger MTA, building on the fiscal efficiencies we implemented and the successful approval of Central Business District Tolling. I know the strong gains we have made will continue under Sarah and Janno’s watch. I look forward to serving as interim president and CEO of Empire State Development and working with Chairman Steve Cohen to continue innovating in support of New York’s post-pandemic economic recovery.”

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