Kimberly Becker, the director at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International (SJC) since 2013, has been hired by the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority to become the president and CEO at San Diego International (SAN).
Becker will start May 1. She replaces Thella Bowens, who will retire at the end of this week.
“We undertook a thorough, deliberate process to find our next leader,” says April Boling, chair of the authority board. “Ultimately, it is about continuing the progress we are already making, and it is about leadership. We are delighted to have recruited Kim, whose proven leadership capabilities and collaborative style will allow our agile, high-performing team to take SAN to the next level.”
Becker arrives at SAN as the authority is aggressively trying to add new nonstop air service, building a new Customs and Border Protection facility to accommodate the growth of international arrivals and planning to replace its 50-year-old Terminal 1. The authority recently completed a five-year strategic plan.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity that I am honored to have,” Becker says. “Thella has built a strong organization and culture. Succeeding her allows me to leverage all that I have done in San Jose and to build on a very solid foundation.”
Becker arrived at SJC in 1995. During her tenure she managed airside and landside operations, business and property development, and environmental and information technology services.
She started as an operations superintendent managing airside, communications and access control functions. Her career in aviation and airport management also has included positions at what is now Hollywood Burbank (BUR) in Burbank, California, and Teterboro (TEB).
Angela Shafer-Payne, SAN’s vice president of operations, will serve as interim president and CEO for the month before Becker takes over Bowens’ role. A spokeswoman at SJC says John Aitkin, assistant director of aviation, has been tapped to become interim director there while the city manager’s office prepares a plan to recruit new leadership.