Governor Cuomo Announces Veronique Hakim Will Serve as Interim Executive Director of the MTA

Veronique Hakim, left, Tom Prendergast, right
Veronique Hakim, left, Tom Prendergast, right

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced has that Veronique Hakim will serve as the interim Executive Director of the MTA while a seven-person committee conducts a nationwide search for a permanent Chair and Chief Executive Officer. Hakim is a lifelong transportation professional who has spent more than 24 years at the MTA, including serving as President of New York City Transit since December 2015. MTA Vice Chairman Fernando Ferrer will serve as Acting Chairman during the search for a permanent replacement.

Current MTA Chairman and CEO Tom Prendergast is retiring from public service tomorrow after a 25-year career at the MTA.

The members of the search committee will be reviewing and recommending candidates to the Governor in the coming weeks. The search committee is comprised of:

  • Tom Prendergast, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  • Joseph Lhota, Senior Vice President and Vice Dean, Chief of Staff of NYU Langone Medical Center and Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  • Fernando Ferrer, Vice Chairman of the MTA Board
  • Kathryn Wylde, President and Chief Executive Officer of Partnership for NYC
  • Scott Rechler, Chairman, Regional Planning Association and former Vice Chairman of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
  • John Samuelsen, Executive Vice President of the Transport Workers Union
  • Rodney Slater, Former United States Secretary of Transportation

“Ronnie Hakim is ready to embrace the challenge of running the nation’s largest transportation network during this transition. She is a true transportation professional who has dedicated her life to improving the commute for millions of New Yorkers and I am confident that in this new role she will continue doing that as we reimagine and modernize the MTA for the 21st century,” Governor Cuomo said. “Under the leadership of Tom Prendergast, the MTA has made dramatic progress - most recently with the successful opening of the long-awaited Second Avenue Subway – and I have directed the search committee to identify candidates who will build on his record of accomplishments. I look forward to receiving their recommendations.”

“Governor Cuomo rightly recognizes that the MTA will be in good hands with Ronnie Hakim,” said Tom Prendergast. “Ronnie has a deep understanding of our regional transportation network from her exemplary stewardship of New York City Transit to her time leading regional commuter rail and highway agencies. I wish her the best of luck and I look forward to serving on the search committee that will choose the next permanent leader of this agency.”

“I want to thank Governor Cuomo for entrusting me with this incredible responsibility and Tom Prendergast for the fine example he set during his years leading the MTA,” said Veronique Hakim. "The MTA has been my professional home for more than two decades. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as interim Executive Director leading the dedicated men and women who keep this region moving day in and day out.”

"The MTA is vital to the functioning of New York and it is the economic engine behind this region’s incredible growth,” said Fernando Ferrer. “Tom Prendergast set a high bar for leadership during his distinguished career at the MTA and it has been an honor to work with him. I am looking forward to assuming the Acting Chairman role and partnering with Ronnie Hakim while we conduct this search."

Hakim has served as President of New York City Transit since December 2015. Prior to that she served as the Executive Director of NJ TRANSIT for a year and a half, which operates 12 commuter rail lines, three light rail lines, 261 bus routes and Access Link paratransit service across the state of New Jersey. She previously served nearly four years as Executive Director of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.