Executive Management

Chief Executive Officer, Phillip A. Washington

Phil Washington

Phillip A. Washington was nominated by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and unanimously confirmed by the Denver City Council as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Denver International Airport (DEN) on July 12, 2021. In 2022, DEN was the world’s 3rd busiest airport by passengers. The annual economic impact of DEN is $36.4 billion and has 37,000 total badged employees with 22 air carriers and a total of 185 concessions. Within weeks of Phil’s arrival, he set forth a vision for DEN, Vision 100, that will prepare the airport to accommodate 100 million passengers, a 30% increase in passengers by 2030.

At DEN, Phil oversees a $10 billion dollar Capital Improvement Program (CIP). During his tenure at DEN, Phil has led the resurgence of the airport, i.e., creating an ambitious vision that includes completely retrofitting the airport to accommodate 50 million more passengers than the airport was originally designed for; early planning of a massive 15,000 space consolidated rental car facility and automated passenger mover; pre-environmental work on a 7th runway; opening of 39 new gates and relocation of airline ticket counters; accelerating the construction of the terminal (Great Hall) project; reducing the airport’s carbon footprint by plugging all abandon oil wells and installing more solar panels on property; no deficiencies on the airport’s last two Part 139 inspections (safety); completed the training curriculum and wrapping up design for a one of its kind “Center of Equity & Excellence in Aviation” that will introduce young people to the aviation industry and create career pathways for thousands of young people; and most importantly, Phil has created a culture of safety throughout the airport and amongst the 37,000 employees on campus.  

Prior to Washington’s arrival at DEN, he was the CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) from March 2015 to May 2021. As Metro’s CEO, Washington managed a balanced budget of $8+ billion, was responsible for overseeing between $18-$20 billion in capital projects and provided oversight of an agency with 11,000 employees that transported 1.2 million boarding passengers daily on a fleet of 2,200 clean-air buses and six rail lines. Metro is the lead transportation planning, programming, and financing agency for LA County. As such, it is a major construction agency that oversees bus, rail, highway, and other mobility-related infrastructure projects – together representing the largest modern public works program in North America. Washington was also engaged and partnering in all facets of transportation and infrastructure in LA County including aviation, goods movement, freight/railroads, water, public works, housing, congestion pricing/mitigation, and transit-oriented communities (TOCs).

Washington led the 2016 successful effort to pass Measure M, a new half-cent sales tax in Los Angeles County (the most populous county in the United States), which garnered 71.15% voter approval. Measure M is allowing Metro to build 40 major highway and transit projects over the next 40 years, create 778,000 jobs and provide $133.3 billion in economic impact for the region. Measure M has no sunset and will end only if voters vote to end it. LA County residents are currently benefiting from the Measure with recent rail, highway, and bus facility openings.

Washington went to Los Angeles from Denver, where he served as the CEO of the Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) between 2009 and 2015. He was previously the assistant general manager of RTD for nearly 10 years before being named CEO.  In Denver, Washington led and implemented the FasTracks program, one of the largest voter approved transportation expansion programs in the country. Under his leadership, Denver’s West Corridor Rail Line project was completed under budget and eight months earlier than scheduled, and the award-winning Denver Union Station project was completed five months early and is now realizing tremendous revenue and value capture from the surrounding development. Also in Denver, Washington implemented the nation’s first and still only operating $2.2 billion rail transit public-private partnership (P3), which opened in 2016 and is in operation and exceeding ridership estimates.

Washington has received numerous prestigious assignments and honors. In July 2022, Phil was nominated by President Biden to be the next Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator. In 2020 and 2021, Phil co-chaired the Biden/Harris Infrastructure Policy Committee, he was later asked to lead (Captain) the Biden/Harris Transportation Transition Team. In both 2021 and 2019, he testified before the full U.S. Congressional Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, was honored with the Eddy Award for Outstanding Leadership in Economic Development, and was awarded the prestigious CORO Crystal Eagle Award for a “Legacy of Leadership.” In 2018, he was awarded the Honorable Ray LaHood Award (former U.S. Secretary of Transportation) by the international Women in Transportation Seminar (WTS) for his outstanding contribution in promoting opportunities to advance and advocate for women in the transportation industry. In 2017, he was presented with the Judge Harry Pregerson Public Service Award for his service to U.S. military veterans and was honored with the Norman Mineta Award for exceptional leadership in the transportation industry. In 2016, he was chosen by the National Safety Council as one of the CEOs Who “Get It” – an honor bestowed on CEOs who demonstrate leadership in safety at the highest levels. Washington was also named 2013-2014 Outstanding Public Transportation CEO of the Year in North America by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). In 2012, President Obama named him a White House Transportation Innovators Champion of Change. In 2009, he was appointed by Colorado Governor Bill Ritter to serve on the State of Colorado’s Workforce Development Council to help the state create a 21st century workforce. And, in 2007, he was appointed by the mayor of Denver to lead the Host Transportation Committee for the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Originally from the South Side of Chicago – the housing projects of Altgeld Gardens – Washington is a 24-year veteran of the U.S. Army, where he held the rank of Command Sergeant Major, the highest non-commissioned officer rank an enlisted soldier can achieve. He retired from active duty, is a disabled veteran and was awarded the prestigious Defense Superior Service Medal for exceptional service to his country. He holds a B.A. in Business from Columbia College, an M.A. in Management from Webster University and is a graduate of the Harvard University Kennedy School for Senior Executives in State and Local Government. Phil is a past chair of APTA and a former member of the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board and the Eno Center for Transportation.


Executive Vice Presidents

Interim Chief of Staff, Andrea Albo

Andrea has nearly 26 years in public service leadership with a focus on leading large organizations to reform policy, strengthen systems, and improve employee and customer experiences. She currently serves Denver International Airport (DEN) as Deputy Chief of Staff leading a range of programs such as the first-of-its-kind Center of Equity and Excellence in Aviation (CEEA).

Prior to her current role, she served as DEN’s Senior Vice President of Culture and Strategy where she led precedent setting work related to strategy, equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility, business, and workforce development.

Prior to DEN, Andrea was appointed by Mayor Michael B. Hancock as the first Chief of Staff for the Denver Sheriff Department leading policy and operational reform efforts; and spent eleven years with the Denver Department of Human Services in a variety of roles including as Deputy Executive Director leading local, state, and federal programs focused on marginalized communities, generational poverty policy gaps and operational efficiencies.

Andrea has been recognized by the Airport News Experience as the 2023 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Trailblazer of the year and by the USDA as a national Champion of Change among other recognitions. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado and actively supports community impact efforts including her current appointment to the Denver Preschool Program Board and the Mayor’s Denver Racial Equity Council.

Chief Operating Officer, Steve Jaquith

Steve oversees Airport Operations, Maintenance, Asset Management and Parking and Ground Transportation. Airport Operations is responsible for the safe, efficient and secure operation of the airfield, main terminal and concourses, as well as Airport Security, while being the primary liaison with the Denver Police, Transportation Security Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Customs and Border Protection. Parking and Transportation is responsible for all DEN's parking lots and transportation services and lost & found operations. Asset Management ensures that DEN is taking care of its existing infrastructure.

Steve brings nearly 40 years of airline experience working in customer service and operations. His most recent role was the Vice President of Airport Operations for United Airlines where he had oversight of a $200 million annual budget and 4,000 employees. Prior to that, Steve served as the Managing Director for United Airlines Denver Hub and Rocky Mountain Region. He also worked for Continental Airlines in a number of different positions.

Chief Financial Officer, Mike Nakornkhet

Mike started at DEN in 2021 as the Deputy Chief Financial Officer and is currently serving as the Acting Chief Financial Officer. Mike brings 20 years of experience in the aviation sector including serving as the Managing Director of Finance at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), where he oversaw capital finance, budgeting and financial planning & analysis in delivering SFO’s large-scale Capital Improvement Plan. Prior to joining SFO, Nakornkhet worked for United Airlines, Northwest Airlines (now Delta) and United Technologies Corporation.

Mike currently oversees Budget, Accounting, Capital Planning and Funding, Financial Planning and Analysis and Internal Audit. The key responsibilities include rates and charges, budget planning and management, financial statement preparation, audits on key risk areas, debt issuance in partnership with the City's Department of Finance, risk management and investor relations.

Chief Commercial Officer, Penny May

Penny manages the Concessions Program, which includes oversight of DEN’s expansive dining and shopping options in the terminal and the concourses. Additionally, the Chief Commercial Officer oversees Business Technologies, which is responsible for technical infrastructure and cyber security as well as Business Operations, which handles contracting and risk management. Airline Affairs and Air Service Development, which maintains the airport’s existing levels of air service while recruiting new airlines and new destinations is also part of the Chief Commercial Officer’s portfolio.

Chief Construction and Infrastructure Officer, Jim Starling

Jim joined DEN in November 2021 and brings over 25 years of experiencing managed large and complex transportation projects in planning, design, construction and commissioning. He previously led several large projects including the Mid-Coast Corridor program in San Diego, the West Rail Line – part of the $6.9 billion FasTracks program and the Transportation Expansion Project (TREX). As the Chief Construction and Infrastructure Officer, Jim oversees Planning and Design, Airport Infrastructure Management (AIM), Sustainability, DEN Real Estate, the Great Hall Project and the Gate Expansion Program. AIM oversees the environmental processes, engineering design and construction management of roadways and runway projects as well as other enhancements. Sustainability is responsible for overseeing all activities at DEN for compliance with environmental regulations, noise management and sustainable practices. DEN Real Estate is focused on developing approximately 16,000 acres of commercial land to accommodate a range of market sectors. At 53 square miles, DEN remains positioned for growth at relatively low unit costs compared to other large hubs in the United States, which will help maintain a competitive cost structure for its carriers while keeping up with growing demand. In addition to develop the 16,000 acres, DEN Real Estate also oversee Commercial Property including the Westin Denver International Airport and Rental Cars. 

General Counsel, Everett Martinez

Everett joined the Denver City Attorney’s Office (CAO) in 2016 serving as an attorney for DEN. In 2020, he was promoted to the Assistant General Counsel at DEN. Everett brings to this role 15 years of experience specializing in complex financial transactions. Before joining DEN, he worked for Kutak Rock as a public finance attorney and spent a decade in the law firm setting, most recently with Greenberg Traurig. Everett oversees a team of 18 attorneys and legal professionals supporting DEN in this position. DEN Legal, a section within the Denver City Attorney’s Office (CAO), negotiates real estate transactions, drafts contracts, secures bond financing, litigates and defends legal claims, and ensures legal and regulatory compliance with federal, state, and local laws on behalf of the airport. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado and Harvard Law School.