Veronique Hakim, a longtime executive at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and president of its New York City Transit, has been named the MTA’s interim executive director by Gov. Andrew Cuomo while a nationwide search begins to replace Tom Prendergast, the MTA chairman and CEO whose retirement takes effect today.
MTA Vice Chairman Fernando Ferrer will serve as acting chairman until a permanent replacement is found for Prendergast, one of seven members named to an MTA search committee that will review and recommend candidates to Cuomo.
Also serving on the committee are Ferrer; Joseph Lhota, Prendergast’s predecessor as MTA chairman and CEO and currently senior vice president, vice dean and chief of staff of New York University Langone Medical Center; Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO of Partnership for New York City; Scott Rechler, CEO and chairman of RXR Realty LLC, who also serves as chairman of the Regional Plan Association and is a former vice chairman of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey; John Samuelsen, executive vice president of the Transport Workers Union, and former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater.
A 24-year MTA employee, Hakim has led New York City Transit since December 2015. She previously served as executive director of New Jersey Transit Corp., that state’s operator of commuter and light rail lines, bus routes and paratransit service, and as executive director of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
“Under the leadership of Tom Prendergast,” Cuomo said when announcing his interim replacement, “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.”