Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Director, Digital Advertising and Customer Experience

To Apply

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search.  Inquiries and/or resume and salary requirements may be directed in confidence to:

Christopher Boylan, Director, Transportation & Infrastructure Practice
Harris Rand Lusk Executive Search
122 East 42 Street, Suite 3605
New York, NY 10168


Please put “MTA Director, Digital Advertising and Customer Experience” in the subject.


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), North America’s largest public transportation provider, serves a population of 15.3 million in a 5,000-square-mile 14 county service area covering NYC, Long Island, southeastern New York, and western Connecticut. With over 700 rail/subway stations and tens of thousands of bus stops, its nearly 9,000 rail and subway cars and 6,000 buses carry 8.8 million passengers a day — over 2 billion a year.

Improving the customer experience for those 8.8 million customers is an MTA priority. A critical pathway to delivering a better product is being advanced through the implementation of a vast system-wide integrated digital advertising & customer communication platform.

The Position:
The Director of Digital Advertising and Customer Experience will lead this effort, crafting an entirely new vision for how the Authority communicates with not only its customers, but the world beyond.

S/he will plan, manage, and coordinate an MTA-wide transformation from one dimensional communication to multi-dimensional digital platforms that will overlay/integrate with the single largest transit advertising revenue operation in the United States.

Vision, creativity, innovation and “big picture” thinking are necessary to deliver a combination of real-time service information, routine announcements and emergency communications, side by side with commercial advertising and entertainment to customers. He/she must be able to turn that vision into reality, simultaneously negotiating and executing complex business transactions with private partners that produce lucrative revenue sharing and other benefits for the MTA.

In that regard, the position will oversee and manage the recently awarded $3.2 billion Advertising Concession Contract overseeing the concessionaire’s $803 million digital build-out, while managing related MTA capital and operating expenses estimated at $345 million.

Supervising both dedicated and matrixed staff, s/he will work across all MTA operating and affiliate agencies: NYC Transit, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, MTA Bus and MTA Bridges & Tunnels on high-visibility digital projects that require not only extraordinary creative vision, but solid business judgement in making high-dollar value/high-policy impact decisions. S/he must have the confidence of the Chief Development Officer (CDO), Managing Director, Chairman/CEO, MTA Board, and MTA Agency Presidents in a dynamic and highly transparent environment.

Successful candidates will have a proven track record working collaboratively at senior levels of large or complex transportation, digital, media or advertising organizations and possess a vision for what these new digital platforms can deliver for the customer.

Responsible for overall strategic direction, implementation and operations of all the elements of the Transit Advertising and Media Program:

1.  Lead all-agency multi-year, public/private partnership-based digital build-out:

a. Organize/coordinate with teams at each MTA operating and affiliate agency to implement, in conjunction w/concessionaire, digital fit-out of MTA-wide fleet/rolling stock and stations.

b. Coordinate with MTA agencies and new rolling stock builders to ensure a digital platform is smartly incorporated into next generation fleets.

2.  The position shall provide executive direction and, in conjunction with MTA   Legal, enforce highly complex concession agreements, including:

a. Monitoring of financial performance;

b. Oversight, in coordination with MTA agency technical personnel, licensee construction performance necessitating major commitments of agency force account personnel;

c. Policy compliance;

d. Coordination with agency IT and corporate communications departments to ensure integration of licensee activities and MTA customer communication initiatives.

3.  Prepare and recommend progress reports, dashboards, and financial briefings to CDO/Deputy CDO, CFO, and MTA Board. Create documents, executive-level management reports, operating statements and program status to ensure goals are met, including reporting on program outcomes to Board members and/or senior MTA executives.

4.  In conjunction with MTA Legal, evaluate proposed advertising placements, to ensure compliance with MTA guidelines relating to advertising content, and develop and enforce privacy policies relating to the acquisition and use of data relating to MTA customers captured in connection with the Concessions.

5.  Consult with governmental, public affairs, and legal departments of all agencies as necessary to address concerns of elected officials regarding the Concessions.

6. Identify and investigate opportunities for new experiential advertising/marking concessionaire; develop a business and implementation plan for each, and secure internal approvals.

Desired Experience:

• Bachelor’s Degree required; MBA, JD or other advanced degree optional.
• Extensive (15+ yrs) progressively-responsible relevant public-private partnership in revenue generating program planning, execution and operations, preferably involving trains, stations and/or buses.
• Relevant advertising concession transactional experience, digital screen networks, wireless telecommunications, or other projects based on a concession model.
• Strong working understanding of relevant advertising and telecommunications technology, including data and privacy considerations.
• Familiarity with factors affecting traditional and non-traditional advertising sales, technological trends and industry players strongly preferred.
• Excellent oral/written communicator in a high pace, high pressure environment and seamlessly transition from interaction with internal stakeholders to external stakeholders.
• Self-starter with proven track record in crafting and administering strategic plans affecting department-wide policies, operating under exacting time constraints.

For more information about the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, visit www.mta.info


122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605, New York, NY 10168