Airports Authority Names Johnna Spera Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Oct. 22, 2020

On Oct. 21, at Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s Board of Directors meeting, Johnna Spera was appointed senior vice president and general counsel, a position she has held on an interim basis since February.

“We are very fortunate to have had someone of Johnna’s caliber on our staff to step up and help guide us through a myriad of issues related to the COVID pandemic and various other key legal matters,” Airports Authority President and CEO Jack Potter said. “In addition, her earlier service as interim vice president for Supply Chain Management and her depth of knowledge on a variety of business and legal topics make her an extremely valuable member of our team.”

Spera, who served as deputy vice president and deputy general counsel before stepping into the acting general counsel position, brings more than 30 years of experience to her new role as chief legal officer for the Airports Authority. Her selection follows an extensive nationwide search process.

After joining the Airports Authority in 2009 as associate general counsel, Spera focused on Phase one of the Silver Line Metrorail construction project. In the 11 years since, she has led the legal efforts for Project Journey, the $1 billion capital improvement project at Reagan National, revised the Airports Authority’s contracting manual, negotiated numerous revenue-producing easements and licenses at both Reagan National and Dulles International airports and handled legal aspects of the Airports Authority’s $236.5 million sale of its western lands parcel at Dulles International. 

As general counsel, she will continue to oversee legal matters for the Airports Authority, including Reagan National and Dulles International airports, the Dulles Toll Road and the Silver Line Metrorail construction project. Her oversight of regulatory matters includes involvement in real estate, procurement, contract administration, airline business transactions, corporate property management and construction projects. She manages an office of five in-house attorneys, support staff and directs a number of outside law firms engaged in work for the Airports Authority.

After earning her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1988, Spera spent more than 20 years in private sector corporations. She spent 17 years with the Charles E. Smith Companies in various roles, including general counsel of an affiliated company. In addition to her law degree, she also holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the University of Virginia.

“Thank you to the Board and to Jack Potter for this opportunity,” Spera said. “I am honored to have been selected for this position and look forward to continuing to serve the Airports Authority in this new role.”