Joe Lhota’s Biography
Provided by the Lhota campaign
Joe Lhota is New York. Now a candidate for Mayor, Joe’s New York City roots are lifelong and his tested leadership is unrivalled. Joe possesses an impressive blend of managing complex organizations in both the private and public sectors that make him uniquely qualified to be the next mayor.
Joe was born and raised in the Bronx to two hard-working parents. His father was a member of the NYPD. One grandfather was a FDNY firefighter and the other was a New York City taxi driver. The first in his family to go to college, Joe graduated with honors from Georgetown University and went on to receive an MBA from Harvard Business School.
After graduating, Joe returned to the city he called home and began a 14-year career as an investment banker at PaineWebber and First Boston. He specialized in public finance and lent his fiscal acumen to state and local governments across the country. Joe is an acknowledged expert in infrastructure finance, particularly in the areas of innovative financing plans, complex debt restructuring and rating agency strategies.
In 1994, Joe sought to translate that expertise into public service and joined the Giuliani Administration, where he served as Finance Commissioner, Director of the Office of Management and Budget and Deputy Mayor for Operations. Joe fast earned the reputation for being a problem-solver. The New York Times wrote “he had an unparalleled knowledge of city government.” Working side-by-side with Mayor Giuliani as the second-in-command, Joe helped the City achieve a remarkable transformation that continues to have a worldwide impact. Mayor Giuliani has credited Joe as one of the most effective leaders of his administration, helping to get the city’s government back up and running after the devastating September 11th terrorist attacks.
Joe returned to the private-sector in 2002 as executive vice president of Cablevision and president of Lightpath. As its chief administrative officer, Joe was responsible for achieving the company’s strategic plan by maintaining and enhancing a full array of enterprise-wide corporate services. He successfully repositioned Lightpath by achieving a 39% increase in revenues and 125% increase in earnings. Joe later joined Madison Square Garden in 2010 as chief administrative officer and a member of the senior management team.
In 2011, Governor Andrew Cuomo named Joe as Chairman & CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the largest mass transit provider in the United States, serving 8.5 million customers daily. During his short time there, he implemented the heralded FASTRACK program, a $30 million in service enhancements and restorations, as well as finding $100 million in budget savings. He is most noted, however, for heading the MTA after Superstorm Sandy, when the transit system came back up and running quickly–a credit he gives to the hardworking men and women of the MTA. In January 2013, Joe resigned his position and launched his campaign to become the City’s next mayor.
Joe will bring his depth of knowledge and full expanse of his experience, management talent and vision to City Hall. He has helped to lead New Yorkers through some of its most transformational moments, but also its biggest challenges and he believes our brightest days are ahead. One of Joe’s top priorities will be to create a vibrant environment for job growth and diversified economy. He will focus on improving New Yorker’s quality of life in all five boroughs and ensure our neighborhoods are safe from crime. He cares deeply about our children’s education and will continue to reform the system so that students are adequately prepared for the 21st century. Most importantly, Joe will keep our city moving forward in the right direction.
Joe lives in Brooklyn Heights with his wife Tamra, their daughter Kathryn and the family’s two labradors, Harmony and Lindy.
Recent CBSNewYork coverage of Joe Lhota:
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