Brooklyn transportation planner joins MTA Board

June 3, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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A Brooklyn transportation planner was among six new members and three returning members of the MTA board that were welcomed Friday by MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber following the group’s confirmation by the state Senate.

“I am excited to welcome this new group to the MTA board at a time when the Authority is focused on using innovative strategies to bring riders back to mass transit and to secure new sources of revenue to address a looming multimillion-dollar budget deficit,” Lieber said. 

The Brooklyn planner is Midori Valdivia, a transportation, operations and urban planning professional who was recommended by Mayor Eric Adams. She was the first chief operating officer for Coro New York Leadership Center, an organization that teaches civic leadership skills to young people.  

Before working for Coro and developing her own consulting practice, Valdivia was the chief of staff to the chair and CEO of the MTA. 

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She led the efforts for the successful passage of congestion pricing legislation within the agency and oversaw elements of the launch of OMNY, the contactless fare payment system currently being implemented for public transit in the New York area. 

Valdivia was also the deputy commissioner for finance and administration at the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission. She led the development of the largest wheelchair-accessible taxi fleet in the nation at the time.  

Valdivia immigrated to the U.S. from Japan, and her family is from Peru. She is a graduate of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, where she received degrees in public administration and urban planning. She received her bachelor’s degree at Penn State University. She lives in Brooklyn with her partner and daughter.  

The MTA is governed by a 21-member board. Members are nominated by the Governor, with four recommended by New York City’s mayor and one each by the county executives of Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, and Putnam counties. The Board also has six rotating non-voting seats held by representatives of organized labor and the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee (PCAC).  

Here are some of the other notable New York City-based new board members:

Lisa Sorin was nominated to the MTA Board by Gov. Kathy Hochul. Sorin currently serves as the first female President of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce. She is also the first woman to serve as board chairperson. 

Prior to her appointment to the Bronx Chamber, Sorin served as executive director of Westchester Square Business Improvement District for six years. As the BID Director, she was responsible for the economic and community development, program planning, fundraising and fiscal management of the district.   

Frankie Miranda was recommended to the MTA Board by Mayor Adams. He is the president and CEO of the Hispanic Federation, the nation’s premier Latino non-profit membership organization.   

Miranda has served in various capacities at the federation since 2006, including assistant vice president of communications, vice president for external affairs, senior vice president and executive vice president. 

Janno Lieber, MTA Chair and CEO, and a Brooklyn resident. Photo courtesy of MTA

Earlier in his career, Miranda held several senior management positions in the communications industry, including director of communications for the local TV stations WXTV, Univision 41 and WFUT UniMas 68. He also served as the deputy press secretary for Spanish language media for Hillary Clinton’s U.S. Senate campaign in 2000 and Fernando Ferrer’s mayoral campaign in 2001.  

Sherif Soliman was recommended to the MTA Board by Mayor Adams. He currently serves as director of the Mayor’s Office of Policy and Planning, where he oversees policy development in key areas of the mayor’s policy portfolio, including MTA-related issues.  

Prior to his current position, Soliman was commissioner of the New York City Department of Finance. While serving as commissioner, Soliman was nominated by former Mayor Bill de Blasio to serve as a member of the Traffic Mobility Review Board, the six-member board charged with recommending toll rates, exemptions and discounts for the first-in-the-nation congestion pricing program. 

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