Karen Rae

Karen Rae
Senior Advisor for Innovative Project Delivery
Empire State Development

Karen Rae was appointed Senior Advisor for Innovative Project Delivery for Empire State Development in May of 2015. She led the Empire State Development team working with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chairman to develop new best practice guidance to enhance the use of design build at the MTA. recently she led the strategic design build procurement and on the Javits Expansion project. Ms. Rae, a nationally-recognized transportation expert with over 35 years of related experience, previously served as Governor Cuomo’s Deputy Secretary for Transportation, a position she held since 2011. In this role, she oversaw and coordinated budget, policy and the Governor’s initiatives within the transportation portfolio, including the New York State Department of Transportation, New York State Thruway/Canals Corporation, MTA, Department of Motor Vehicles, Port Authority of NY/NJ and New York State Bridge Authority. She has been directly involved in representing Governor Cuomo during the passage of New York State’s first Design/Build legislation. Utilizing this legislation, she coordinated three transportation agencies efforts to expedite environmental review and procurement of the project. She played an integral role in the Governor’s effort to secure $1.6 billion TIFIA loan for the Tappan Zee Bridge.

Before joining the Cuomo Administration, Ms. Rae served as Deputy Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration in the Obama Administration, where she managed the federal high speed rail initiative and developed national freight and passenger rail policy. She has also held positions as Deputy Commissioner at the New York State Department of Transportation and, Director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. In Virginia she led the effort to successfully negotiate a public/private partnership agreement and securing authorization to advance the Dulles Rail project. She has also served as Director or General Manager of Transit Systems in Austin, Texas, Glens Falls, New York, and Buffalo, New York. Ms. Rae was named WTS International Woman of the Year in 2010.