Alan Steel to Retire from Javits Center in 2025 After Revolutionizing NYC's Premier Venue

June 27, 2024

After leading New York City’s Javits Center for 12 years, Alan Steel will step down as president and CEO at the end of March 2025. A search for his replacement is already underway, according to the New York Convention Center Operating Corp. (NYCCOC), which operates and manages the facility, 

Backstory: Leaving behind an indelible legacy of innovation, resilience, and sustainable growth, Steel’s journey with the Javits Center spans 38 years, including 12 years at the helm and 26 years as a customer. He was already a 30-year veteran of the trade show industry when he was appointed its leader in February 2012.

Related: Trade Show Industry Leaders Share Trends and Predictions for 2023

Why it matters: During his tenure at the Manhattan venue, Steel successfully navigated tremendous challenges, including Hurricane Sandy and the COVID pandemic, as well as overseeing the center’s $375 million renovation and $1.35 billion expansion.


Big picture: Under his visionary leadership, the Javits Center evolved from a convention center to a symbol of environmental sustainability, community partnership and economic vitality, according to Javits officials.

Related: Javits Center’s Rooftop Farm Yields Delicious New Line of Pickled Produce for Guests

What they’re saying: “Alan Steel’s selfless leadership guided the Javits Center through a transformative era, from its physical renaissance to navigating the challenges of the pandemic, leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come,” said Javits Board Chair Lee Perlman.

Leading in sustainability: Steel also oversaw the modernization of the Center’s IT infrastructure, and he championed its progressive sustainability initiatives, serving as a major contributor to the development of the business event industry’s Net Zero Carbon Events Pledge. As a result of his leadership, the Javits Center became a national leader in sustainability, security, and technology.

Related: New Bird Species Flock to Javits Center’s Green Roof

In his own words: “When I came to the building, I had the benefit of being a previous customer and was able to focus on customer experience and culture change as priorities,” Steel explained. “I planned to be here for only three or four years but change takes time and other issues and opportunities emerged. I have been truly fortunate to have the support of the Governor, the NYCCOC Board, and a strong leadership team to bring about meaningful change.” 

Looking ahead: Hugh Carey, vice chair of Javits’s Board, will lead a national search for Steel’s successor.


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