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Transition in the ACI NA General Counsel Position

Boeing Upgrades its Engineering with an Internal Promotion

LAX/LAWA CEO moves home to run YYZ


One of the key discoveries of the Wright Brothers in their mastery of flight was to find and define- pitch, roll and yaw. Aviation is an incredibly mobile business and its employees are subject to the dynamics of Human Resources– promotion, retire, move and others (fire, transfer, stagnate. Four recent, prominent personnel announcements are noteworthy.

A seasoned veteran retires

His successor moves from a firm to an association

A talented engineer is promoted in a move to strength her company in her discipline


A successful executive moves to return to her native soil.







Airports Council Announces Retirement of Tom Devine Pablo Nüesch Named General Counsel

November 19, 2019

Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) today announced General Counsel Tom Devine will retire from the organization on June 30, 2020. ACI-NA has named Pablo Nüesch as its new general counsel effective July 1, 2020.

“Everyone at ACI-NA is grateful for Tom’s dedicated service to our organization and the North American airport industry,” said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin Burke. “He has been a trusted advisor to our members throughout the years, and we have all benefited from his guidance and extensive knowledge of the industry. Tom will be truly missed, but we wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”

Devine rejoined ACI-NA as General Counsel in April 2014. He has provided legal and strategic counsel to the ACI-NA President, Board, and staff, and represented the interests of airports in regulatory, administrative, and judicial proceedings, as well as government-industry task forces and professional associations. He assisted airport members on legal issues and served as secretary to the Legal Affairs Committee.

“Tom’s expertise in law and aviation has served our industry well throughout his career,” said Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky International Airport CEO and ACI-NA Board of Directors Chair Candace McGraw. “His contributions to ACI-NA are greatly appreciated, and we look forward to building on the excellent work he has already done.”

“Tom has been a critical part of advancing airport industry priorities over the last several years,” said Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority Executive Director and ACI-NA Board of Directors Vice Chair Lew Bleiweis. “He has worked tirelessly on behalf of the airport industry and dedicated his career to our cause. We appreciate his years of service and thank him for all of his efforts.”

Prior to rejoining ACI-NA, Devine spent 22 years representing airports in private practice on matters relating to rates and charges, use of airport revenue, passenger facility charges, air service incentives, and other issues involving implementation of airport initiatives, while complying with federal requirements. He also served as General Counsel to the National Airline Commission in the summer of 1993 and spent 6 years as an FAA attorney in the Legislative Staff of the Chief Counsel’s Office, where he reviewed and drafted legislation, and prepared agency witnesses for congressional hearings.

Nüesch has over thirty years’ experience in the field of airport law, policy, and administration, working for, or on behalf of, airports throughout the United States. For the past 21 years, as an attorney at Spiegel & McDiarmid LLP, Nüesch has counseled airports on matters of U.S. law and policy, and has represented their interests before federal agencies, in the federal courts, and on Capitol Hill. Before joining Spiegel, Nüesch represented the Richland-Lexington Airport Commission in Columbia, South Carolina. Earlier in his career, Nüesch was an airport consultant, providing advisory services in support of the management and development of airports and financing of airport projects throughout the U.S. and in the Caribbean.

“We are thrilled to have Pablo joining the ACI-NA team next year,” said Burke. “His decades of experience in the industry have positioned him well to step into this important role and serve our organization and members. Pablo is among the best in the industry and we look forward to officially bringing him on board.”

Nüesch will join ACI-NA on April 16, 2020, to facilitate a smooth transition.

Nüesch has been an active participant in a number of ACI-NA committees, including as a former member of ACI-NA’s Legal Affairs Committee Steering Group. He is a member of the American Bar Association and its Air and Space Forum and State and Local Government Law Section, and the Federal Bar Association and its Transportation and Transportation Security Law Section. He is admitted to practice before the courts of the District of Columbia, the State of South Carolina, and a number of Federal Circuits. Nüesch is a graduate of the Florida Institute of Technology as well as the University of South Carolina School of Law.



Joan Robinson-Berry is new VP and Chief Engineer for Boeing Global Services

Boeing Global Services has announced that Joan Robinson-Berry is the new Vice President and Chief Engineer for Boeing Global Services. As engineering leader, Robinson-Berry is responsible for strengthening Boeing’s enterprise engineering and encouraging a companywide approach to meet customer, business and operational priorities, with an emphasis on safety, quality, and integrity.

Ted Colbert, former chief information officer and senior vice president of IT & Data Analytics for The Boeing Company, was appointed CEO of Boeing Global Services last month.

Previously, Robinson-Berry was vice president of Engineering, Modifications & Maintenance for Boeing Global Services (BGS), providing support to BGS’ government and commercial customers. In that role, she was responsible for fleet engineering services, modifications to aircraft, logistics products and support, Aircraft on Ground (AOG) services, Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facilities, and forward base deployment with operators around the world.

Prior, Robinson-Berry served as vice president and general manager of Boeing South Carolina (BSC), where she held leadership responsibility for the facilities in North Charleston. Previously, Robinson-Berry served as vice president of the Shared Services Group (SSG) Supplier Management, where she led strategy, contracting, daily management, and development of the supply chain to provide more than $8 billion of non-production goods and services.

Other previous roles include director of Phantom Works Supplier Management for Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS), director of Small/Diverse Business & Strategic Alliances for BDS, and director of Technical Workforce Excellence. She also served as program manager of the Twinjet Programs for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Robinson-Berry has received extensive recognition for her work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from NSBE and members of Congress. She received the Women of Color Professional Achievement Award in 2015 from Career Communications Group (CCG), and in 2012 was inducted into CCG Alumni Hall of Fame. She was recognized in 2019 by Black Enterprise as one of the most Powerful Women in Corporate America; and in 2017, she was among Women’s Enterprise magazine’s Top 100 leaders in corporate supplier diversity.



Robinson-Berry holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and a Master of Science in Engineering Management & Business Administration from the University of California, Riverside. Robinson-Berry is an Associate Technical Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a Fellow of the African Scientific Institute. She has also received honorary Doctorate degrees from Charleston Southern University (Business), Allen University (Law) and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Engineering).


Flint to Step Down as CEO of Los Angeles World Airports


Deborah Flint, chief executive of Los Angeles World Airports, the city agency that runs Los Angeles International and Van Nuys airports, will step down in March to take the helm of Toronto’s airport authority.

While Flint did not offer any reason for her move, which was announced by LAWA on Nov. 27, it will be a sort of homecoming for the executive. Flint was born in Hamilton, Ontario, which is about 40 miles southwest of Toronto.

LAWA’s Board of Airport Commissioners said it would soon begin a search for Flint’s replacement. The board will send recommendations to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who will then submit his nominated candidate to the City Council for approval.

Flint was appointed chief executive in June 2015 by Garcetti. She has overseen many elements of the massive $14 billion overhaul underway at LAX.

Last year, Flint spearheaded the awarding of multibillion-dollar contracts for construction and operation of two major renovation projects:

the $2 billion automated people mover to connect airport terminals with rail, bus and rental car stops,


the $1 billion consolidated car rental facility.

Flint is also overseeing construction of a major new terminal on the airfield behind the Tom Bradley International Terminal and the upgrade of virtually every terminal at the airport.

Also on Flint’s watch, LAWA ceded control of Ontario International Airport to a separate authority centered in the Inland Empire.

The announcement of Flint’s departure came one month after a rare misstep: a curbside ban on ride-hailing services at LAX and the establishment of a remote lot for ride-hailing pickups. The rollout met with immediate resistance from passengers and drivers, and the remote lot quickly became overwhelmed.

Within a week of the ban, LAWA moved to double the size of the lot and increase the frequency of shuttles between the terminals and the lot, which relieved much of the congestion.

Garcetti said Flint has been a key instrument in the massive modernization of LAX in advance of the 2028 Summer Olympic Games.

“Deborah … has put in motion all the key pieces of LAX’s modernization, from the contracts and groundbreakings for the Automated People Mover train and other state-of-the-art facilities to the team that will build the airport of the future to welcome the world in 2028.”






The Canadian Perspective on this transition:

TORONTO, ONTARIO – The Board of Directors of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) today announced the appointment of Deborah Flint as President and Chief Executive Officer of the GTAA. Ms. Flint will commence her new role in April 2020 following more than 4 years as CEO of Los Angeles World Airports and 24 years serving in executive roles in the aviation industry.

“Deborah is a proven aviation executive who has been leading Los Angeles World Airports, one of the world’s largest passenger and cargo airports, through a period of significant transformation, including the development of an intermodal transit centre,” said Doug Allingham, Chair of the GTAA Board of Directors. “The GTAA Board undertook a global search for a new leader to help guide Toronto Pearson through its next phase of growth, and we are pleased to have found a Canadian-born airport executive with the energy, passion and experience to continue on with our vision to make Toronto Pearson the best airport in the world.”

“In the world of international airports, Toronto Pearson is a rising and notable star, known for its significant accomplishments on passenger service, growth in passenger traffic, and its leadership in working with both industry and community partners to take a regional perspective on the role a mega-hub airport plays in lifting those around it,” said Ms. Flint. “As a Canadian-born airport executive, I consider it a privilege to be able to return home to lead this organization and ensure it continues to deliver benefits to all of our stakeholders.”

As a recognized leader within the international and U.S. aviation community, Ms. Flint serves as a member of the Airports Council International board, appointee to the U.S. DOT Drone Advisory Committee, and Chair of the Oversight Committee of the Transportation Research Board’s Airport Cooperative Research Program. Beyond the airport industry, she has served on the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank and is a Director of the Honeywell Corporation.

Good luck to all in their new endeavors, especially Tom Devine with whom I worked at the FAA and afterwards.


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