Senior Vice President and General Counsel (Airports Authority)

Washington D.C
Jul 06, 2020
Aug 05, 2020
Full Time
The recruitment for this position is conducted by an outside executive search firm Odgers Berndston.

*Contact Information*:

For more information and to obtain a copy of the full position brief, please contact Judy Whitaker at

*How to Apply*:

To apply, please submit a comprehensive CV along with a cover letter which sets out your interest in the role and encapsulates the aspects of your experience relevant to the required criteria. Please include the names and addresses of three references. References will not be approached until the final stage of the search and not without prior permission from a candidate.

*The preferred method of application is by email to*:

This executive position manages the Airports Authority's legal program, serves as chief legal counsel, and is the focal point for all legal issues and matters. The SVP & GC oversees the activities of in-house staff of attorneys and retains and oversees the activities of outside legal counsel.

The SVP & GC, is responsible for providing advice and a full range of legal services essential to policy formulation, compliance with applicable laws, and the day-to-day operation of the airports. The GC's advice and other services affect the functioning of the Dulles Toll Road and Dulles Rail Project, in addition to IAD and DCA airports, which are critical links in national and international transportation systems.

The role works under the administrative supervision of the President and CEO and closely with the Board of Directors.

Duties & Responsibilities
  • Provides interpretations, advice, guidance, and other assistance across a broad spectrum of legal issues and matters in connection with all activities of the Airports Authority.
  • Ensures that interpretations, advice, and guidance are well researched, based on sound analyses of applicable Federal and state statutes and regulations and case decisions, and are of high quality.
  • Assures that legal memoranda and opinions, contracts, real estate instruments, and other documents for which the legal office is responsible are legally sound, well written, and of overall high quality.
  • Oversees drafting of comments on legislative proposals and rulemaking proceedings affecting Airports Authority interests.
  • Drafts regulations resolutions and other legal materials for Board of Directors' consideration.
  • Drafts orders and instructions and other Airports Authority documents establishing rules applicable to tenants and other users of the airports.
  • Prepares various legal documents on strict deadlines.
  • Maintains up-to-date Codes of Ethics for the Board of Directors and for Airports Authority employees and assures the continuing vitality of the Airports Authority's ethics program.
  • Represents the Airports Authority in adversarial administrative and judicial proceedings. Negotiates possible settlements when in the Airports Authority's best interest.
  • Directs the work of outside legal counsel and serves as liaison to legal counsel for the Commonwealth of Virginia, District of Columbia, and other governmental entities.
  • Stays abreast of recent legal developments.

The Candidate

Airports Authority is seeking a highly respected and experienced legal professional to assume the Senior Vice President and General Counsel position, with the gravitas to succeed in a complex, multi-stakeholder environment dealing with a broad range of public and private sector issues and comfortable with a dual reporting responsibility.

Competencies & Areas of Expertise
  • Knowledge of and skill in general law practice with reasonable experience in aviation law
  • Proven ability to perform complex analyses of data and information
  • Skilled in the interpretation and application of a wide variety of laws and legal decisions and precedents
  • Experience in the development of regulatory or legislative proposals to meet the unique operational needs of the airports
  • Current and/or prior exposure in collaborating with Federal stakeholders like the DOT, FAA, FRA, and FTA
  • Understanding of the nuances of working and succeeding within a highly transparent, public sector environment
  • Experience interacting with a Board of Directors
  • Excellent leadership, coaching, and mentoring skills with proven ability to succeed in a complex stakeholder environment
  • Ability to delegate and distribute workload as required
  • Strong interpersonal, presentation, verbal, and written communication skills, with emphasis on negotiation and persuasive techniques
  • Exceptional analytical, problem solving, and strategic thinking skills
  • Hands-on and the ability to work under pressure and maintain emotional self-control, providing leadership during critical situations
  • A strong commitment to diversity in the workplace
  • Patience and ability to deal with ambiguity
  • A reputation of unquestioned integrity and ethics
  • Good sense of humor

Essential Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have 11+ years of progressively responsible experience in the practice of law in the US, including experience in aviation law. He/she will have legal experience working with public sector organizations governed by a board of directors or other governing body, such as other airports, state councils or commissions, and or local governments.

Candidates for this role must have a JD degree. The selected candidate will be required to secure admission to the Virginia Bar within six months of hire, promotion, or placement in the role. Membership in the VA Bar must be maintained. A background security investigation will be required for all new hires.

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

A background security investigation will be required for all new hires.

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is an Equal Opportunity Employer.| Follow us on Twitter @MWAAcareers.