Interim Hartsfield-Jackson GM Roosevelt Council selected for permanent position

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is moving to make official the appointment of Roosevelt Council as general manager of the Atlanta airport, while the city also has reached a settlement that will pay Council’s dismissed predecessor more than $85,000.

Reed’s administration introduced city council legislation to make Council the permanent general manager of Hartsfield-Jackson International.

Atlanta city council member Felicia Moore said she thinks naming Council to the permanent position "is the best thing to do, given the short time left on the mayor's term.... It would be difficult for the city to do anything different than hold the status quo, because you know it would be difficult to go out and try to recruit someone for 12 months or less of one mayor's term, without them having some surety that they will remain."

Council has been interim general manager since May, when Miguel Southwell was fired from the post.

Southwell and Reed initially sparred over the reasons for the firing, before agreeing to drop the dispute in September.

Yolanda Adrean, chair of the Atlanta city council transportation committee, said the settlement approved this week was for benefits to Southwell during a job transition, including health care.

“I think it was appropriate,” she said. “(Southwell) served the city well.”

Roosevelt Council has risen to the top position at Hartsfield-Jackson after being chief financial officer and deputy general manager at the airport.

Over the last six months as interim general manager, he has led the airport’s plans for a massive $6 billion renovation and expansion that will roll out over the next 15 years.

For details on the termination of previous airport general manager Miguel Southwell that led to the $85,000+ settlement, read more on

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About the Author

Kelly Yamanouchi
Kelly Yamanouchi
Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.