The Washington, D.C., airport transit agency that was poised to name Nathaniel Ford its new executive director has reopened its national search for the vacant position, but the San Francisco Municipal Transportation chief is still believed to be in the running.
In a move that surprised many, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s board of directors postponed a decision Wednesday to name a new executive director. Many people familiar with the situation assumed the board would appoint Ford to the position. When it balked on a decision, it appeared unlikely Ford would still be considered.
However, at a hearing Thursday at the Virginia House of Delegates, recently appointed authority Director Tom Davis said Ford is very much still in the running for the position, even though the search has been reopened on a national level. On Wednesday, officials from the authority refused to confirm reports that the national search had been reopened. The first national search lasted several months.
Davis said the vetting process for choosing Ford was flawed. The firm that conducted the search did not provide directors with essential information, including the fact that Ford owes nearly $70,000 in back taxes.
Davis added that there was great respect for Ford among board members.
With Ford still a candidate for the job, he’s set to meet with members of the SFMTA’s board of directors Tuesday. Board chair Tom Nolan said the two sides will discuss Ford’s future with the agency.
Washington Examiner Staff Writer Ben Giles contributed to this report.
There has been talk of the SFMTA buying out Executive Director Nathaniel Ford’s contract. Here is what it would cost the agency:
$308,000 Annual salary
$70,000 Deferred compensation*
$10,000 Owed vacation time*
$775 million SFMTA operating budget
* Estimates according to SFMTA