The City of Atlanta has named John Selden, second in command for John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, as the next general manager of the world’s busiest airport.
The city-run Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the metro region’s economic crown jewel, generating $35 billion in economic impact and serving as the linchpin for many corporate relocations, especially from international investors.
Mr. Selden has served as deputy general manager at JFK since 2014. While it’s the sixth busiest airport in the nation by traffic, JFK tops the list in terms of international passengers, with nearly half arriving from or heading to another country.
Hartsfield-Jackson, meanwhile, is aiming to boost cargo capacity and increase the proportion of international travelers in an airport known more as a transfer hub that a destination.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told Global Atlanta earlier this year that the city would seek an airport leader with “global thinking and vision” to succeed Roosevelt Council, the longtime airport CFO who was appointed to lead the airport late in Mayor Kasim Reed’s second term after the firing of Miguel Southwell.
Mr. Selden is a former U.S. Navy pilot who then flew commercially before delving into airport management. Before joining JFK in 2008, he led Republic Airport, New York state’s third biggest.
He was selected out of five finalists pinpointed by search committee leaders David Abney, CEO of United Parcel Service Inc. and Home Depot Inc. CFO and Executive Vice President Carol Tomé.
Mr. Selden’s appointment requires approval by the Atlanta City Council.