Phil Washington

New Denver International Airport CEO Phil Washington took over Monday, July 19. 

Former Regional Transportation District head Phil Washington was nominated Monday by Mayor Michael Hancock to be the next CEO of Denver International Airport.

Washington would replace current CEO Kim Day, who is retiring in July after 13 years in the position. Washington would need to be approved by the Denver City Council.

Washington left RTD in 2015 to become CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. He served as RTD’s assistant general manager from 2000 to 2009 and general manager and CEO from 2009 to 2015.

“Given the important role the airport must play in our post-pandemic recovery, and with the departure of Kim, our airport needs a leader who can step into this space and hit the ground running without missing a beat,” Hancock said in a release.

As L.A. Metro’s CEO, Washington managed an $8 billion budget and oversaw $18 billion to $20 billion in capital projects. It has 11,000 employees and transports 1.2 million boarding passengers daily on 2,200 clean-air buses and six rail lines.

“I’m honored to be nominated for this role by Mayor Hancock, and excited to have the opportunity not only to return home, but to lead one of the premier airports and airport teams anywhere in the world,” Washington said.

“In L.A., Phil oversaw the largest infrastructure program in the United States and pioneered groundbreaking initiatives to address climate change, increase economic opportunity, and expand free transit," said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in a statement. 

As general manager of RTD, Washington led and implemented the FasTracks program, one of the largest voter-approved transportation expansion programs in the country at the time. He also helped secure a public-private partnership to bring the University of Colorado A Line from Union Station to DIA. 


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