Mayor Kasim Reed has named Miguel Southwell the new General Manager of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Southwell was a finalist for the position in 2010, when Louis Miller was appointed during Mayor Reed’s first term. He joined the Department of Aviation in 2013 as the Deputy General Manager of Commercial Operations. Prior to joining the City, Southwell was the Deputy Director of Business Retention & Development for the Miami-Dade Aviation Department in Florida. He worked for Miami-Dade for 12 years. Previously, Southwell worked for Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport from 1990 to 2001, in various roles, including Interim Assistant General Manager for two years.
“I’m confident that Miguel Southwell is the right executive to continue Hartsfield-Jackson’s dominance as the world’s busiest passenger airport, and grow its capabilities as a leading global cargo hub,” Mayor Reed said. “His experience in Miami, and prior experience in Atlanta, is the right fit to carry out my vision for our airport to be the nation’s leader in the logistics and air cargo space. I want to thank Carol Tomé for leading the search committee and helping us to identify top candidates for this critical city position.”
City officials say the search for the position included research on the top aviation executives across 40 airports in the nation. Mayor Reed met with five candidates and selected the three finalists. The finalists were interviewed again on May 2 and Mayor Reed selected Southwell.
“The Aviation General Manager position demands a strategic thinker and effective communicator who can provide leadership and vision in managing the day-to-day activities of the world’s busiest airport,” said Southwell, who has also served as an adjunct professor at Georgia State University. “My primary responsibilities include developing and implementing a strategic plan to further the goals of Mayor Reed and the City of Atlanta, while still ensuring the airport’s continued success as the region’s leading economic generator, spawning $32.5 billion in direct business revenue for metro Atlanta, and $68.3 billion in Georgia.”
City officials say some of Southwell’s other major responsibilities include completing the expansion of the airport's industry-leading $500 million concessions program, growing international air service, and working on a strategic development plan for the airport.
The airport general manager reports to the Chief Operating Officer and the appointment will require Atlanta City Council confirmation.