Ginger Evans will lead the department that manages the city owned O'Hare International Airport and Midway Airport.

CHICAGO — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel named veteran aviation official Ginger Evans of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority to take the helm of the city's Aviation Department.

Evans fills a spot vacant since Aviation Commissioner Rose Marie Andolino left in 2014 for a private sector job. Evans has been serving as vice president of engineering at the MWAA where she oversaw several major construction projects.

"Chicago's airports provide a unique competitive economic advantage, putting us at the crossroads of the global economy," said Emanuel said in statement May 8. "As an engineer, Ginger Evans understands the structures and systems that make our airports run, but also their importance as economic drivers for the city — making her the right leader at the right time for Chicago's Department of Aviation."

Evans will lead the department that manages the city owned O'Hare International Airport and Midway Airport. An $8 billion expansion of O'Hare is underway but further negotiations with airlines are needed to complete a final list of projects. The two serve 86 million passengers annually and manage one million flights.

"This is an important moment in time and I'm excited for this opportunity as we work to build a strong future for O'Hare, Midway, and Chicago's economy," said Evans.

"Ginger's background with aviation, engineering and running major projects make her a great match for Chicago's needs and that is why, after helping lead the search effort, I was happy to recommend her to Mayor Emanuel," former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, who led a selection committee, said in the city statement.

Evans has overseen major construction projects at Reagan National and Dulles airports, as well as the new Silver Line Metrorail construction. Prior to her role as vice president at the MWAA, Evans served as senior vice president at Parsons Construction Group, where she managed its global aviation practice. She has also served as a principal at Carter & Burgess, Inc., and as director of aviation for Denver International Airport.

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