Alumni Association Welcomes Peter Cafiero

November 19, 2011

Peter Cafiero, a 1983 Cooper Union civil engineering graduate, is the newest Alumni Association President. Having spent a career in the transportation industry, Peter is now Chief of Operations Planning for New York City Transit—a leadership role that manages more than 450 employees and provides a full spectrum of planning services for the remarkably complex transit organization. To his executive position Peter brings a lifetime of experience. He has worked at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for 23 years, and as the head of his department since 2006. Prior to this he spent a few years at MetroNorth Railroad.

Peter’s talent for leadership and management make him especially qualified as the new President of the Alumni Association, as does his sustained dedication to the organization and the Cooper Union alumni community. “The Alumni Association and Cooper Union are, and must be, closely linked, because neither one could survive for long without the other,” Peter recently commented on his new appointment. “All of us who went to school here received an incredible gift from Peter Cooper and from those who came here before us. Being part of the Association gives me an opportunity to repay that to current and future students.”

Over the years, Peter has served on the Alumni Council and Gano Dunn Award Committee, as well as the Tellers Committee. In 2008, he was instrumental in helping plan his class’ 25th year anniversary reunion. He has previously participated in Engineering Career Night and the Engineering Mock Interview Night, and speaks each year to the Transportation Planning class in the School of Engineering— helping Cooper Union students make the transition from academic to professional careers. Peter is also the class representative of his generation.

Read Peter's first column as Alumni Association President here.


  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.