Leadership Team

Jim Harding

Board of Directors, 1st Vice Chair

James H Harding, Jr. has over 30 years of extensive and administrative experience at the…

James H Harding, Jr. has over 30 years of extensive and administrative experience at the highest levels in New York City and New York State government. In 1999 Jim was appointed by NYS Governor George Pataki and confirmed by the New York State Senate as a Commissioner /
Member of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Board of Directors. As a Board Member, he had oversight of the MTA’s annual $16 billion plus budget and all of the capital construction projects. Jim was also responsible for setting policy for mass transportation in the
twelve county MTA region that serves millions of subway, bus and train riders daily.

Commissioner Harding was given Board oversight on all MTA Diversity and Inclusion related issues and was the Founding Member and served as Chair of the MTA’s Diversity oversight committee. He also served as Chair of the MTA’s Safety and Security Board Committee after September 11, 2001. Harding’s intricate knowledge of government, inter-governmental affairs and legislative expertise led the way to numerous critical appointments throughout his career. He has served on the following MTA board committees: MTA New York City Transit, Capital Construction, Real Estate, The Bus Company, Bridges and Tunnels and the Governance Committee.

Mr. Harding previously served as Senior Advisor / Director of Legislative Affairs for Governor George E. Pataki. As a senior advisor to the governor, Jim played an integral role in setting policies for the state and the city of New York. Governor Pataki also asked him to serve as Chair
of the New York State Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission and in 2006 he was nominated for an Emmy award for best public service broadcasting.

Jim is well-known within governmental circles and within the business community. He has consulted on many complex issues related to inter-governmental affairs and has extensive knowledge of Minority and Women-owned business programs regulated throughout New York
State. In 2014, Mr. Harding received The Uptown Chamber of Commerce’s Award of Distinction, an association comprised of over 3000 business leaders.

In the aftermath of 9/11 Jim played an integral role in advising family members about a variety of services that were available to them from the state of New York. He also represented the Governor and the State of New York at many of the funerals of police officers and firefighters.
In 1985 Jim was appointed Special Advisor to the Mayor of the City New York. In this position Jim served as senior policy advisor to the Mayor in establishing bridges between City Hall and the communities of New York City. He demonstrated his intricate knowledge of the City’s
bureaucracy early on in his career. In his book, “Ed Koch, The Rebuilding of New York”, former New York City Mayor Edward I. Koch, references his Special Advisor, “the hard-working Jim Harding,” several times. During Jim’s tenure the Mayor named him Co-Chair with the New
York City Police Commissioner of the Tactical Narcotics Team (TNT) in an effort to eradicate the sale of illegal drugs in New York City.

Prior to that, he served as Deputy Fire Commissioner for programs and policies of the New York City Fire Department. He was the first African American to be appointed as Deputy Fire Commissioner and the youngest person at that time to hold that position in New York City’s
history. Jim initiated a program to train high school students to learn about fire safety and prevention that were used as ambassadors to go to senior citizen centers and to meet with community members on the importance of fire safety prevention.

Early in his career, Jim worked for the First Lady of United States, Roslyn Carter as part of her Advance Team traveling throughout the United States setting safety parameters for the First Lady’s official appearances.

Jim is a graduate of the City College of New York with a B.A. He possesses two honorary doctorate degrees, one bestowed by Hofstra University and the other from Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York.

Harding has always believed in the importance of giving something back and has been an Adjunct Professor in the City University of New York since 2005. He has taught at the City College of New York, Medgar Evers College and John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Harding
focuses on racial discrimination, public management and administration.

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