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Riordan Names Kennard as City Airports Chief

March 14, 2000

LOS ANGELES — After a national search for a new executive director of Los Angeles World Airports, Mayor Richard Riordan has decided to give the job to the woman who last summer began what was at first a temporary stint in the post.

If the City Council approves her appointment, Lydia Kennard, 45, will be in charge of operations at Los Angeles International, Ontario International, Van Nuys and Palmdale airports, supervising more than 2,300 employees and overseeing a budget of more than $291 million.

The appointment makes her the only woman heading a major U.S. airport system, officials said.

Kennard took over as interim executive director after John J. Driscoll retired. Her appointment comes at a time when many communities surrounding L.A. International are mobilizing against the proposed $15-billion expansion of the world's third-largest airport.

As interim executive director, Kennard worked with communities surrounding L.A. airport to help them cope with jet noise and car traffic to the airport. She helped Palmdale to develop and market the airport there and launched a $112-million campaign to improve landscaping and the appearance of buildings around L.A. airport.

Kennard came to Los Angeles World Airports five years ago as first deputy director. She has a law degree from Harvard Law School, a master's degree in city planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor's degree from Stanford University.

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