The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority announced Wednesday that it has tapped a new leader after a difficult selection process and during a time of controversy about the second phase of its Metrorail extension project.

John Potter, a former postmaster general, was selected by the MWAA’s board of directors to become president and chief executive officer by July 18. He is replacing Lynn Hampton, who was appointed interim president in May 2010 and was subsequently named president and CEO. Hampton is planning to retire but will remain with the authority for 90 days to ease Potter’s transition period, according to a spokesperson.

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