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(Left: Jamie Rhee, Right: Shannon Andrews)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced the appointment of Jamie Rhee as the new Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA). Rhee will succeed Ginger Evans, who is stepping down on August 1 after three remarkable years leading Chicago’s aviation system. Mayor Emanuel also announced that Shannon Andrews, who currently serves as the Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) for Cook County, will replace Rhee as (CPO) for the City of Chicago.
“When I appointed Ginger three years ago, I tasked her with specific goals to modernize our airports and strengthen our status as a global transportation hub so that Chicago’s distinguished airports would not only be the busiest, but the best,” said Mayor Emanuel. “In a herculean feat accomplished in a small amount of time, Ginger has negotiated an historic $8.7 billion agreement to modernize O’Hare; opened two new runways and the first new gates in 25 years; undertaken the largest investment plan for Midway in nearly two decades; and attracted new airlines and services to make O’Hare not only the best connected airport in the nation, but the only American city to offer direct flights to all six major continents.”
“Since my first days in office, Jamie been a trusted advisor and has impressed me with her remarkable intellect, incredible work ethic and dedication to ensuring that Chicagoans from all walks of life have the opportunity to earn contracts with the City of Chicago,” said Mayor Emanuel. “As a procurement expert, lawyer and former employee of the Department of Aviation, Jamie will be able to oversee upcoming construction projects while also managing airport operations, and there is no doubt in my mind that Jamie is the right person to lead the Aviation Department to ensure Chicago’s economic vitality and cement our status as a global hub.”
Starting her career with the City of Chicago in 1994 as an airport information officer, Rhee has worked for the city for nearly 24 years in various roles and is currently Chicago’s CPO. Rhee has a long history of mastering aviation issues, and has published three publications on aviation law. Further, she has previously served in various roles at the CDA. From 2004-2008, she served as the General Counsel for the O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP), where she handled all legal matters for the $8 billion program, including all federal and state litigation as well as legal strategy with the Chicago Corporation Counsel, Department of Justice and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); oversaw the successful completion of the FAA’s Environmental Impact Statement process and managed the legal process and procurement for all contracts, including commissioning the OMP’s first runway project ahead of schedule and under budget.
As Chicago’s CPO, Rhee is responsible for purchasing approximately $2 billion in goods and services for dozens of user departments of the City of Chicago, including the CDA, and the certification of thousands of minority, women-owned, disadvantaged business enterprises, as well as Veteran-owned businesses and businesses operated by people with disabilities and the Airport Concessionaire Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) program. Under her leadership, Rhee has transformed City procurement through increased transparency and innovation to ensure that vendors who earn City contracts are diverse as Chicago itself. For instance, more than 20 programs and incentives have been developed to strengthen and streamline opportunities for Chicago’s small, minority and women-owned businesses. Under Rhee’s leadership, Chicago’s procurement reform efforts have received national and international recognition, and Rhee has been recognized with a dozen awards from industry organizations for her contributions to public service.
“I am honored to continue my work with the City to serve its residents in any way that I can, and I am humbled by the Mayor’s faith in me,” said Rhee. “This is a tremendous opportunity to continue the work that we have done to highlight Chicago’s innovation, integrity, inclusion and transparency to the world.”
Rhee also played key roles under Mayor Richard M. Daley’s administration, having served as a Deputy Chief of Staff to Mayor Daley and in various roles at the Departments of Aviation; Law; and Planning and Development.
Rhee received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University and a Juris Doctorate degree from DePaul University School of Law. She is conversant in French, Japanese and Spanish. She lives in Humboldt Park with her husband.
Chicago is home to two international airports – Midway and O’Hare – making it one of the largest and busiest airport systems in the country. The global access created by Chicago’s airports makes the City of Chicago economically and logistically appealing for corporate relocations. The airports are self-sustaining, and, combined, generate an estimated $60 billion in annual economic activity for the region.
In 2017, O’Hare and Midway airports handled more than 100 million passengers, surpassing the previous record set in 2016. Total air cargo tonnage handled at O’Hare was approximately 1.9 million tons, representing a nearly 12 percent increase over the previous record for the airport also set in 2016. O’Hare is among only a few airports worldwide that rank in the top 20 for both passenger volume and cargo tonnage – two leading indicators of an airport’s strength.
To keep Chicago competitive in today’s fast growing commercial aviation industry, Mayor Emanuel’s O’Hare 21 vision calls for bolder, bigger and more connected O’Hare. Central to this vision, the unprecedented $8.7 billion terminal expansion program will transform the airport with new facilities and gates to increase O’Hare’s connectivity, efficiency and capacity. The terminal investments complement several O’Hare 21 projects underway today, including the expansion of Terminal 5; a new Multimodal Facility; and the completion of the final runway, Runway 9C/27C, and the airfield modernization program by 2021. Over the next decade, these investments will ensure O’Hare remains a top global hub and that Chicago’s most important economic engine is equipped for future success.
Mayor Emanuel also announced that Shannon Andrews will replace Rhee as Chicago's CPO.
“Shannon’s procurement experience in both Cook County and the City of Chicago will enable her to hit the ground running and ensure a seamless transition,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I look forward to working with her to build on Jamie’s successes to ensure that Chicago’s procurement processes continue to be transparent, efficient and cost effective while providing opportunities and incentives for small, minority and women-owned businesses to participate in City contracts.”
Andrews has served as the CPO of Cook County since 2012, where she is responsible for purchasing more than $1 billion in goods and services for more than 30 user agencies. In her role as CPO, she helped to create the Cook County annual buying plan and implemented strategies to streamline, standardize and improve procurement cycle times by more than 30 percent. Andrews was also responsible for leading efforts to strengthen opportunities for local and small businesses, creating workshops to provide tools and resources to vendors interested in doing business with Cook County and establishing and enhancing incentive and earned credit programs to support local vendors. She also served as the Director of Cook County Contract Compliance, where she managed certification of minority and women-owned firms and compliance related to County contracts.
The City and County procurement departments routinely work together, most notably through the Government Procurement Compliance (GPC) Forum, a strategic partnership of more than 30 government agencies and non-profit assist agencies created by Mayor Emanuel to drive bold, cross-agency improvements on procurement, certification and compliance processes. The appointment as Chicago’s CPO will mark Andrews’ return to city government, as she previously served in various roles at the Chicago DPS from 2007 to 2012.
“It is an honor to be chosen to lead the Department of Procurement Services, which has been a national leader in procurement reform,” said Andrews. “I look forward to furthering the Mayor’s commitment to level the playing field so that small businesses as well as women, minority and veteran-owned businesses can compete for and win City contracts.”
Andrews received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hampton University, and lives in the Edgewater neighborhood with her husband.
Rhee and Andrews will begin serving in their new roles on August 1. Their appointments are subject to confirmation by the Chicago City Council.