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Ex-postmaster general to head Airports Authority

Tuesday - 6/21/2011, 6:20pm  ET

Adam Tuss, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Former U.S. Postmaster General John (Jack) Potter is expected to be selected as the next head of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority during a board meeting Wednesday.

The search for a new authority head has been a rocky one, with board members engaged in name-calling during the process.

The authority had seemed to settle on a pick months ago: Nat Ford, a transit executive from San Francisco, was seemingly on his way to landing the job. But questions about Ford's financial past soured some board members on the pick at the last minute.

Potter's likely selection was first reported by The Washington Post. Sources tell WTOP's Sprawl & Crawl reporter Adam Tuss that Potter has a reputation as a good manager.

"He started at the bottom of the Postal Service. He can run a complex organization. And he is not averse to cutting budgets," a source says.

Potter will take over during a critical time for the Airports Authority, which is currently in charge of building the Metrorail extension to Dulles International Airport.

The price tag for the Dulles Rail project is now estimated to be about $6 billion. Slashing budgets will be an important task as MWAA tries to reign in the cost of the project's second phase.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)