Pat Foye, the Port Authority’s outgoing executive director, will become MTA president, according to numerous reports, although none confirmed by Albany.
Foye, of Port Washington, will assume the newly created executive role at the transit authority, working with chairman Joseph Lhota. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s acting executive director, Veronique Hakim, is also expected to stay on in a leadership role.
Lhota confirmed the leadership shakeup in an appearance on Fox 5 but said no role changes had been finalized. Lhota, who still works full time as an executive at NYU Langone Medical Center, said he needs the help.
“I’m going to create an office of the chairman. Ronnie Hakim will be managing director. She will be in charge of the operations of all of the subways,” Lhota said. “Pat will be the president — I hope. None of this is set in concrete yet. What’s been reported in the papers is a little premature, but it’s the direction we’re going in.”
Lhota said that Foye will be in charge of “innovation” and will guide new projects that will bring the subways and commuter rail lines “into the 21st century.”
Foye had served the Port Authority since 2011 and played a key role in blowing the whistle on the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal in September 2013. He previously worked in economic development for Gov. Andrew Cuomo and, before heading to Albany, was a Nassau County deputy county executive and briefly led the United Way. He began his career at NYC law giant Skadden Arps.
Foye’s departure at the Port Authority was part of sweeping leadership changes at the bi-state agency that includes the departures of both Foye and Port Authority Chairman John Degnan.
Rick Cotton, special counsel to Cuomo, has been named the agency’s new executive director. Kevin O’Toole, a former Republican state senator from New Jersey, has been named chairman.