Washington was among four nominees that Biden announced Wednesday. He has been CEO of Denver International Airport (DIA) for less than a year, after he was appointed by the Denver City Council in September 2021.
Before leading DIA, Washington ran the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority from 2015 to 2021, and was CEO of Denver's Regional Transportation District (RTD).
A DIA spokesperson declined to comment and referred all inquiries to the Biden administration.
"Originally from the South Side of Chicago, Washington is a 24-year veteran of the U.S. Army, where he held the rank of command sergeant major," according to a White House news release. "He retired from active duty, is a disabled veteran and was awarded the prestigious Defense Superior Service Medal for exceptional service to his country."
Colorado Sens. John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet praised the nomination.
“Phil Washington will bring an organizational discipline to the FAA during this time of stress and challenge," Hickenlooper said in a statement. "He has translated his successful military career into a level of operational competence rare in any industry sector. He will do great things in his new role."
“President Biden could not have made a better choice in nominating Phil Washington to run the FAA. Phil has served Colorado extremely well, and I’m confident he will lead the FAA with integrity,” Bennet's statement said.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock nominated Washington to replace retiring DIA CEO Kim Day in June 2021.
“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 at the time.
DIA was ranked as the third-busiest airport in the United States and the world in 2021. It was one of only four airports worldwide to serve more than 50 million passengers last year.
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