Long Island Rail Road president Helena Williams will take over as interim executive director and chief executive officer New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, pending board approval, the MTA announced Thursday.

Williams will replace Elliot Sander, who resigned following the passage of a state rescue package for MTA funding this month that included combining the CEO position with the chairman’s position.

Williams will stay in the position until Gov. David Paterson nominates, and the State Senate confirms, a new chairman and CEO.

“This is a time of transition at the MTA, but it is critical that we continue to serve our customers without missing a beat,” MTA chairman H. Dale Hemmerdinger said in a press release. 

Williams has served as president of Long Island Bus and the LIRR for a combined 15 years and was a deputy executive to Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi. She earned her law degree at St. John’s University School of Law. 

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