LAWA Airport Management

Michael Christensen, Deputy Executive Director
Operations and Maintenance

Michael Christensen

Michael Christensen is a transportation professional with 42 years of experience in both public and private sector planning, engineering, goods movement, operations, facility maintenance, governmental affairs and project management on a wide variety of transportation projects and facilities. Michael’s current full-time position is Deputy Executive Director at Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), responsible for facility management at LAX and Van Nuys airports. Approved by LAWA’s Board of Airport Commissioners in May, 2017, he leads a staff of 1,400 in LAWA’s Facilities Maintenance and Utilities Group who are engaged in all aspects of airport maintenance and facility repair on terminal, land-side, airfield, and utility infrastructure at the nation’s second-busiest airport.

Before joining LAWA, Mike was the Senior Executive for Supply Chain Optimization for the Port of Long Beach, California, reporting directly to the Chief Executive, leading an initiative that challenged Harbor Department staff and industry stakeholders to work together and find new ways to increase the efficiency of the marine transportation supply chain and enhance cargo flow.

Prior to joining the Port of Long Beach, Mike spent 9 years as Deputy Executive Director and second in command at the Los Angeles Harbor Department (Port of Los Angeles). Mike headed the Port’s Development Bureau overseeing the Engineering, Environmental, Maintenance, Goods Movement and Construction Divisions. He also managed the Board of Harbor Commissioners’ office and was liaison with numerous outside transportation and governmental agencies. While at the Port of Los Angeles, teams under his leadership delivered over $1 Billion in capital improvements on time and on budget.

Before joining the Port of Los Angeles in 2006, Mr. Christensen served as Vice President at Parsons Transportation Group in Irvine, California, where he was responsible for a broad range of local, regional, and national goods movement, planning, port, airport, and rail projects. Before his Parsons assignments, he served as Vice President and Managing Principal for Nolte and Associates and as President of Summit/Lynch Consulting Engineers, both transportation consulting firms in Walnut Creek, California.
Mr. Christensen’s career has also included 16 years of service to the Southern Pacific Railroad where he held posts at eight different locations throughout the railroad’s 13-state system engaged in railroad maintenance, construction, and environmental remediation. His various positions included Division Engineer, Assistant Chief Engineer for Design and Construction, and Chief Environmental Affairs Officer.

Mr. Christensen had held various board and advisory appointments throughout his career. He was an Alternate Board Member and Operating Committee Member of the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority and served as chair of the California Marine Affairs and Navigation Conference. He has served on the board of the METRANS, a University of Southern California/California State University Long Beach Urban Transportation Center. Mike was an alternate member of the Intermodal Container Transfer Facility Joint Powers Board of Directors, a member of the California Freight Advisory Committee, and is currently chair of the curriculum advisory committee for the College of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at California State University Long Beach. He was also a federally appointed member of the Surface Transportation Board’s Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council representing the port industry at-large as part of this congressionally mandated committee. Michael has twice given formal testimony before the U.S. Congress on transportation-related issues.

Mr. Christensen earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Arizona State University and a certificate in Executive Education from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is a third-generation registered professional civil engineer in California and nine other western states and is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association. He is also a Certified Member (C.M.) of the American Association of Airport Executives.

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