Longtime transportation executive Phil Washington has been tapped to take over the helm at Denver International Airport (DEN) in July, replacing current CEO Kim Day, who will retire. The nomination by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock requires approval from the Denver City Council.
Washington most recently led Los Angeles County’s regional transportation authority and before that he headed up metro Denver’s Regional Transportation District.
“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.
Hancock pointed to Washington’s stellar credentials and longtime work in transportation in both Denver and Los Angeles. “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,” he said.
The mayor said the airport’s current success is attributable to Day’s visionary leadership. “I can’t praise Kim Day enough for the job she’s done at DEN, and for the partnership we’ve had since I was on City Council,” Hancock said. “She has had one of the most successful tenures leading a major international airport anywhere in the country, and I want to thank her for her dedicated service to our airport and to our entire city.”
Washington returns to Denver after six years as CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority – the lead transportation planning, programming and financing agency for Los Angeles County and one of the largest transportation departments in the United States.
From 2000 to 2015, Washington served first as assistant general manager and then general manager and CEO for metro Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD).