Meet The Black CEO Helping To Manage The World's Busiest Airport
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Velma Trayham | Thinkzilla Consulting Group

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Velma Trayham | Thinkzilla Consulting Group

Meet The Black CEO Helping To Manage The World's Busiest Airport

georgia , Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta , Atlanta , United States
Parker Diakite
Parker Diakite Apr 10, 2020

With more than 100 million passengers a year, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is one of the busiest passenger airports in the world.   

With five runways and as Delta Airlines’ hub, Hartsfield-Jackson employs over 60,000 staff to serve the nearly 300,000 passengers each day and it’s all managed by a black man.

As the CEO of Atlanta Airlines Terminal Company (AATC), Dr. Kofi Smith has grown its employee base by 109%, creating more positions and employment opportunities for Atlanta residents. Under his leadership, AATC has been recognized as one of the Top 20 “Best Places to Work” for medium-sized companies in the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

In 2018, Smith was named one of Atlanta’s Most Admired CEOs of 2018. 

Photo courtesy of Asset Management Ecosystem

“I believe the reason why God has allowed such an honor to be bestowed upon me is for one reason[…] I take care of His people,” he told Biz Journals.  “My motto has been ‘my people first, my shareholders second.’ If you take care of your people, they will take care of your shareholders, your clients and ultimately you. Put your people first.”

Smith has sat on a research panel in Washington, D.C. evaluating the airline and airport industries under the Airport Cooperative Research Program of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and National Academies. Currently, he serves on the national board for the National Black Child Development Institute as the Board’s Second Vice-Chair and also sits on the Children’s Sports Network Corporate Board for the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation.

Smith received his Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1999 and went on to receive an Executive MBA in Global Business at Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business in 2009.

In 2015, Smith entered the J. Mack Robinson School of Business at Georgia State University. He graduated in 2018 with an Executive Doctorate in Business Administration.