John E. “Jack” Potter is the President and CEO of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. The Airports Authority is responsible for operating and managing the two-airport system serving the nation’s capital, consisting of Ronald Reagan Washington National and Washington Dulles International Airports. In addition, the Airports Authority operates the Dulles Toll Road in Northern Virginia and manages construction of the Silver Line extension of the Washington area’s Metrorail mass transit system.
Since assuming his position in July 2011, Potter has focused on strengthening the organization’s governance, embracing new customer-focused processes and technologies and enhancing the efficiency of business and technical operations. His efforts have resulted in a realignment of key policies and processes and achieved significant financial savings.
Prior to joining the Airports Authority, Potter served as the Postmaster General of the United States for ten years, where he worked to modernize the U.S. Postal Service and the management of more than 500,000 employees. He focused on improving postal operations by emphasizing on-time service, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction and safety.
He joined the Postal Service in 1977, starting as a distribution clerk and moving into operations management. He also served as the manager of Washington–Baltimore–Northern Virginia field operations; senior vice president of Labor Relations; senior vice president of Operations Support; and executive vice president and chief operating officer.
A native of New York City, he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at Fordham University and a master’s degree as a Sloan Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He serves on the Federal Aviation Administration’s Management Advisory Council and on the board of directors and executive committee of the Greater Washington Board of Trade.
Combined, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s Airports serve more than 42 million passengers a year. Reagan National, just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., is served by 26 airlines with direct flights to 82 destinations in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. Dulles International Airport, located in the Washington suburbs of Fairfax and Loudoun Counties in Virginia, is the Mid-Atlantic region’s primary international gateway, with 56 airlines – including 29 major non-U.S. carriers – offering direct flights to more than 80 U.S. cities and about 50 destinations outside the United States. The Airport also includes the Dulles Access Highway, which provides a direct connection from the airport to downtown Washington and other points via connections with Interstate 81 and the Capital Beltway (Interstate 495).
The Dulles Toll Road is an eight-lane highway, parallel to the Dulles Access Highway, that extends 14 miles outside the Capital Beltway. The Toll Road functions as a major commuter route through the fast-growing suburbs of Northern Virginia. The Airports Authority’s construction of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project (also called the Silver Line), a 23-mile extension of the Metrorail system to connect passengers to Fairfax County, Dulles Airport and Loudoun County, consists of two phases. Phase 1 is expected to open in 2014, and Phase 2, which will connect directly to Dulles Airport, is scheduled to be completed in 2018.