With only a few weeks remaining until her swearing-in, Nassau County Executive-Elect Laura Curran announced on Monday the selection of former Long Island Railroad President Helena Williams as her choice for chief deputy county executive.
“I am thrilled to have Helena as my Chief Deputy County Executive,” Curran said in a statement. “Her wide breadth of experience, including in County government, as an attorney, and at the helm of the LIRR and Long Island Bus, makes her the perfect fit to help us clean up Nassau County and save taxpayer money.”
Williams had served as president of the LIRR for seven years and worked for the Metropolitan Transit Authority for more than 20 before retiring in 2014.
She was the longest-serving president of the railroad in decades, as long as the first woman to hold that position — a link she shares with Laura Curran, who will be the first female Nassau County executive.
“I am honored by this opportunity to serve as Laura’s Chief Deputy County Executive,” Williams said in a statement. “I am here to help her implement the vision voters elected her to carry out, and that means making our government efficient and accountable to the taxpayers, and finding economic solutions to help grow our tax base.”
This will be Williams second time to serve as chief deputy for Nassau County. She held the same position during Tom Suozzi’s administration.
During that time, she worked with then-Islanders owner Charles Wang to redevelop the site of the Coliseum to include extensive space for retail and residential units. The plan ultimately fell through when the Town of Hempstead halted the project.
She also played a large part in the county when she served as the president of Long Island Bus, which she held for five years.
After leaving the MTA, Williams moved to the private. She currently serves as the chief development officer for RATP Dev America, the United States section of a French company specializing in rail and bus transport.
She will resign from the position at the end of the year to join Curran’s administration.
Williams was a member of Curran’s transition team and donated $500 to her campaign in November.
“She will be invaluable in helping me implement the vision I campaigned on — restoring trust in our government, finally fixing our budget and revitalizing our economy through smart growth and transit-oriented development,” Curran said.