RICKY D. SMITH is Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Aviation Administration (MDOT MAA). Appointed by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan in 2015, Mr. Smith is responsible for the management and operations of BWI Marshall Airport, Martin State Airport, and regional aviation activities throughout the state of Maryland.

Ricky Smith

Mr. Smith, a 29-year transportation official, served as CEO of the Cleveland Airport System, which included Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Burke Lakefront Airport. Since returning to Maryland, Mr. Smith has led BWI Marshall to four (4) consecutive record-setting years for passengers including restoring BWI Marshall as the busiest airport in the Washington/Baltimore region and one of the Top 10 National Airports for Customer Experience. Establishing a culture of performance, customer service, safety, and innovation, the airport has received several national and regional awards for customer service, capital development, and marketing, including an Emmy Award in 2018. In 2017, the LaunchPad program was started to enable minority-owned micro-businesses the opportunity to participate in BWI Marshall’s thriving food and retail program without barriers to entry. In 2015, he launched the BWI Marshall Youth Initiative aimed at introducing youth in Baltimore City to careers in aviation and transportation. To date, over 200 students have participated in this program.

Prior to his service in Cleveland, Mr. Smith served as the Chief Operating Officer for the MAA, where he helped lead BWI Marshall Airport through a $2 billion expansion program, increased air service throughout the world, and established the creation of a new food and retail program. 

Mr. Smith holds an Accounting degree from Howard University and an Executive MBA from Loyola University in Maryland.  He is a graduate of several leadership programs, including the Greater Baltimore Committee and Leadership Cleveland.  He is active on several national and local boards and industry associations including the American Association of Airport Executives, the Washington Board of Trade, the BWI Business Partnership, World Trade Center Institute, AERO Club of Washington, Greater Baltimore Urban League, the Airport Minority Advisory Council, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, and the Morgan State University School of Communications Board of Advisors.

He has been recognized as a ‘Power 10 CEO’ by the Baltimore Business Journal (2018), ‘People Who Move America’  by the Boys Scouts of America (2018), ‘Thomas G. Newsome Founder’s  Leadership Award’  by the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (2018), ‘Influential Marylander’ by The Daily Record (2017), and the Maryland Washington Minority Companies Association ‘Black History Hero’ award (2017).

Mr. Smith served as Chair of the Mayor’s Commission on African American Males and President of Black Professional Men, Inc.

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