Kevin Willens, Former Managing Director and Co-Head of U.S. Public Finance at Goldman Sachs, Named MTA Chief Financial Officer
Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chair and CEO Janno Lieber today named four transportation and public sector officials to the Authority’s executive leadership, strengthening the highest levels of the agency as it leads New York’s economic resurgence in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. A fifth leader has taken on increased responsibilities.
“These leaders have the experience, talent and enthusiasm to further the MTA’s aggressive agenda,” Chair and CEO Lieber said, “as the Authority increases ridership, strengthening the agency’s financial position and driving recovery of the region’s economy.”
Kevin Willens, Chief Financial Officer
Kevin Willens will become MTA Chief Financial Officer, responsible for managing the MTA’s budget and finances and accountable for developing the agency’s annual budget and four-year financial plan. In this role, he will oversee the departments of the Comptroller, Finance, Management and Budget, and Treasury.
“I am thrilled to join the MTA team,” Willens said. “Having served the MTA for more than three decades on its financings, including 10 years as financial advisor, it is exciting to take the next step and come inside such a great institution. I look forward to working with the MTA Board and staff as well as the MTA’s governmental partners to advance the agency’s financial strength. I want to thank Chair Lieber for this tremendous opportunity to serve the customers of the MTA’s transportation network."
Willens is a highly accomplished financial industry leader, with more than 35 years of experience in public finance, having served most recently as Managing Director and Co-head of US Public Finance at Goldman Sachs. He has provided investment banking expertise to the MTA for over 30 years, including serving as MTA’s financial advisor for 10 years. He led the implementation of some of the largest and most complex financing transactions across MTA’s agencies. His work includes developing new revenue sources such as the regional mobility tax in 2009, designing the new Capital Lock-Box sales tax credit in 2021 to provide a cost-effective funding source for the Authority’s 2020-24 Capital Program, structuring innovative risk management instruments such as insurance-linked securities following Superstorm Sandy, and executing complex real estate transactions such as the Hudson Rail Yards financing. Willens earned his B.A. in Economics and Computer Studies from Northwestern University.
Paige Graves, General Counsel
Paige Graves will serve as MTA General Counsel. Graves previously served as General Counsel in the NYC Transit Law Department, at the Long Island Rail Road and MTA Bus Company. Recently, as Acting General Counsel, she’s been responsible for developing high-level legal and policy strategies for key MTA initiatives.
Prior to joining the MTA in 2012, Graves started her legal career as a prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, before working in the Forensic Litigation Group at KPMG providing investigative and integrity advisory services, and as senior counsel for an insurance defense firm handling complex litigation matters. Paige holds a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a Juris Doctorate degree from Hofstra University.
Chris Pangilinan, Vice President for Paratransit
Chris Pangilinan will serve as Vice President for Paratransit. Pangilinan has dedicated a 15-year career in public transportation to enable people, especially those with disabilities, to live their fullest lives.
In his previous role, Pangilinan was the Head of Global Policy for Public Transportation and Accessibility at Uber, working to bring the benefits of on-demand transportation to people with disabilities.
Prior to Uber, Pangilinan held several roles at TransitCenter, New York City Transit, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Chris received his M.S. in Transportation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Portland State University.
Mersida Ibric, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer
Mersida Ibric will serve as Deputy Chief Administrative Officer. Ibric joins the MTA with over 14 years of experience in the public sector, most recently at the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) as Deputy Commissioner and Chief Diversity Officer.
Ibric previously worked at the Mayor's Office of Contract Services as Deputy Director for Research and IT where she was responsible for maintaining and developing procurement data analytics and reporting, along with planning and developing mayoral procurement initiatives.
In her new role, she will support the Chief Administrative Officer in overseeing the people, procurement, information technology and real estate departments. Ibric received a B.A. in Political Science from CUNY Queens College and a Masters degree in Public Administration from CUNY Baruch College.
Quemuel Arroyo, Chief Accessibility Officer and Special Advisor
Quemuel Arroyo, currently MTA Chief Accessibility Officer, adds duties as Special Advisor to MTA Chair and CEO Lieber. Arroyo will advise on New York City-related transportation issues and policy, while continuing to lead the implementation of policies, initiatives and programs that advance accessibility.