Michael Whitaker was appointed by President Obama as Deputy Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration in June 2013. He is responsible for helping to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the largest aerospace system in the world – with over 50,000 operations daily – as well as regulating the safety of equipment and operators of the U.S. aviation industry. Whitaker also serves as the Chief NextGen Officer and is responsible for the development and implementation of FAA's NextGen modernization of the air traffic control system.
Prior to joining the FAA, Whitaker spent 20 years in the aviation industry, first with TWA in New York and Washington, where he served as Assistant General Counsel, then for 15 years with United Airlines, where he rose to Senior Vice President responsible for Alliances, International and Regulatory Affairs. At United, Whitaker was responsible for the significant expansion of the airline's international route and alliance network, and served on the management board of Star Alliance. Whitaker left United to become the Group Chief Executive Officer of InterGlobe Enterprises, the holding company that founded, owns and operates India's largest airline, IndiGo, among other travel-related businesses.
In 2014, Whitaker obtained his private pilot certificate as part of his commitment to fully understanding aviation technology and the challenges of general aviation. He is continuing his training toward an instrument rating.
Whitaker holds bachelor degrees in Political Science and French from the University of Louisville, and graduated cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center.