By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
New York City Republican Mayoral candidate and former MTA CEO & Chairman Joe Lhota will deliver the keynote address at Poly Prep Country Day School during the school’s 156th commencement on Friday, May 31, at Poly Prep’s Dyker Heights campus in Brooklyn.
Lhota will address Poly Prep’s Class of 2013, five of whom were named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists and six of whom were named National Achievement Scholarship Semifinalists.
Lhota—a past Poly parent whose daughter graduated in 2009—has held leadership positions in both the public and private sectors.
Lhota was the City’s Budget Director in Mayor Giuliani’s first term and Deputy Mayor for Operations during the second term. In 2011 and 2012, Lhota was Chairman and CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Before joining the Giuliani administration, Lhota was an investment banker for 15 years, where he assisted in the financing of infrastructure projects throughout the United States. Following the Giuliani administration, Lhota held executive positions in the Cablevision Systems Corporation and the Madison Square Garden Company.
Lhota is a graduate of Georgetown University and the Harvard Business School and is also a trustee of the City University of New York. He was born in the Bronx, a son of a New York City police lieutenant and the grandson of a New York City firefighter and taxi driver. Lhota and his family live in Brooklyn.
Lhota commented: “I am honored to address the 2013 graduates of Poly Prep, a school that consistently excels at preparing young women and men to be active participants in their community and in the global economy.”
Headmaster David B. Harman commented: “Poly Prep is very honored to have Joe Lhota—whose career of public service and leadership embodies many of Poly’s ideals about mind, body, and character—to deliver our 2013 Commencement address. When they were at Poly, Joe, his wife Tamra, and daughter Kathryn were integral members of our learning community. We are singularly delighted to have Joe return to campus to inspire our graduating class and their families.”
Prior Poly Commencement speakers include NYU President John Sexton; actress Meryl Streep (past Poly parent); former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt, Jr. (Poly Class of 1947); the Reverend William Sloane Coffin, Jr.; former White House Chief of Staff Kenneth M. Duberstein (Poly Class of 1961); and New York City’s first Chief Service Officer Diahann Billings-Burford (Poly Class of 1990). At least ten college presidents have delivered prior Poly Commencement addresses.