Maryland Governor Larry Hogan appointed Ricky Dorell Smith as Executive Director of the Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA) on July 10, 2015. Mr. Smith is responsible for the planning, operation, and management of Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI Marshall), Martin State Airport, and regional aviation activities for the State of Maryland.
Mr. Smith, a 29-year transportation official, returned to Maryland after serving as Chief Executive Officer of the Cleveland Airport System, which includes Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Burke Lakefront Airport. In addition, he was responsible for overseeing the development and management of the City’s lakefront properties.
Mr. Smith worked to establish and execute a strategic direction for Cleveland Hopkins International Airport that included expanding airport revenue sources, strengthening the airport’s brand recognition, improving airfield safety, and enhancing the passenger experience. During Mr. Smith’s leadership in Ohio, Cleveland Hopkins was recognized as the most-improved airport in North America by the international aviation industry organization, Airports Council International-North America. He led the development of a new $2 billion master plan for the Cleveland Airport System that is developing new cargo facilities and expanded corporate hangars, improved parking facilities, a new on-airport hotel, an improved passenger terminal building, a new on-airport service station/fast food plaza, and a new state-of-the-art FAA Air Traffic Control Tower.
Prior to his service in Cleveland, Mr. Smith served as the Chief Operating Officer for the MAA. Mr. Smith helped lead BWI Marshall Airport through a $2 billion expansion program, increased air service throughout the world, and the creation of a new food and retail program. Prior to returning to the MAA after a two-year departure, Ricky served as the Deputy Administrator for the Maryland State Highway Administration. There, he oversaw an approximate $1 billion annual budget and co-developed the financing strategy for the largest capital project in Maryland history – the Inter-County Connector. In addition, he served in the private sector for several years with International Business Machines, H&R Block Business Services, The May Company, and others.
Ricky 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 Leadership Cleveland, the Greater Baltimore Committee, and the University of Maryland Government Executive Institute. 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, the World Trade Center Institute, AERO Club of Washington, the Greater Baltimore Urban League, and the U.S. Department of Transportation National Freight Advisory Council.
He has been recognized as the ‘National Executive of the Year’ (2010) by the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, ‘Most Influential CEO in Northeast Ohio (2013 and 2014) by Crain’s Magazine, ‘Influential Marylander’ (2017) by The Daily Record, and ‘CEO Power 10’ by the Baltimore Business Journal (2018).
He and his family reside in Howard County, Maryland.