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Lourdes Zapata

Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer
A woman wearing a red shirt and glasses. Her hair is pulled back in a ponytail and she is smiling.

Lourdes Zapata serves as the MTA Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, after leading the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, locally known as SoBro. 

As the MTA’s CDIO, Zapata is charged with ensuring equitable access to economic opportunities for Minority and Women Business Enterprises (MWBEs) and eliminating barriers to their participation in obtaining MTA contracts and supporting equal opportunity for MTA employees. 

Prior to joining SoBro, Zapata was appointed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo as Chief Diversity Officer for the State of New York, where she was engaged in policy and program development to increase the participation of women and people of color in all areas of State government. She also served the State as Executive Vice President of the Division of Minority and Women’s Business Development at Empire State Development. Her responsibilities included the development and oversight of statewide MWBE procurement policy as required by Article 15A of the Executive Law. She oversaw the Division’s certification, compliance and business development activities, and worked with State Commissioners and the Legislature on matters affecting the MWBE community. Her public service also extends to her earlier tenure as Community Development Director for the City of Newburgh in Orange County. 

Born and raised in the Bronx, Zapata received her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from New York University and her Bachelor’s Degree from Hood College in Frederick, Maryland.