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Chicago’s Rhee Named Director of the Year, Large Airports Division

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9/16/21 Commissioner Jamie Rhee at O’Hare airport, Chicago

Airport Experience News has selected Jamie Rhee, the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Aviation, as its Director of the Year, Large Airports Division. Rhee oversees both O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW).

“Jamie Rhee is leading a massive expansion and redevelopment of ORD that will transform it into one of the world’s top global gateways,” said Melissa K. Montes, vice president and publisher of Airport Experience News. “At the same time, she’s shown stellar leadership at both airports she oversees and has taken on roles to improve the larger aviation industry as well.”

Rhee has a long history with the Chicago Department of Aviation and with the City of Chicago. She was appointed commissioner of the CDA in 2018. Since then, she’s overseen the completion of the Midway Modernization Program and the launch of the $8.5 billion O’Hare 21 initiative, a multi-dimensional, multi-phased umbrella for the long-term vision for ORD.


“It is an honor to be named Director of the Year by AXN,” said Commissioner Jamie L. Rhee of the Chicago Department of Aviation. “Under the leadership of Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, Chicago is reinvesting in our terminals through the O’Hare 21 initiative in order to provide our passengers with an experience worthy of one of the world’s great airports. As a part of that work, it has been my privilege to meet hundreds of dedicated professionals across the North American aviation industry who continue to innovate. Working together, we can find new ways to redefine the passenger experience, from curb to gate.”

Rhee is the third of three directors of the year to be named by AXN for 2022. Earlier this month, AXN announced the selections of Scott Brockman, president and CEO of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority, as Director of the Year, Medium Airports Division; and Greg Kelly, executive director of Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV), as Director of the Year in the Small Airports Division. All will be featured in a special Leadership Issue of Airport Experience News and will be honored at the 2023 Airport Experience Conference.

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