Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport general manager Roosevelt Council has been named chief financial officer for the City of Atlanta.
Atlanta airport deputy general manager Balram Bheodari will be interim general manager until a search for a new airport manager is complete.
Council is familiar with the city CFO’s office -- he was interim CFO for the city of Atlanta before he joined the airport, and has a background in finance. Council has also been CFO for the Georgia Technology Authority. Before being named to the airport general manager position in 2016, Council was deputy general manager and chief financial officer for the airport.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms in a written statement said Council “has done an incredible job managing one of Atlanta’s most important assets and he will now play an even greater role in our city’s success.”
“There are few roles more important than Chief Financial Officer, and we are fortunate that Roosevelt Council has agreed to continue with our administration in this new capacity," Bottoms said.
Earlier this year, Bottoms had asked her cabinet members, including Council, to submit their resignations earlier this year, saying she would later decide which ones to accept.
At the time, Bottoms also said: “There will be people who will remain.... There may be people who have other opportunities in the city that is appropriate for their skill set.”
Bheodari, known as “B,” has a long history in airport operations, joining Hartsfield-Jackson in 1999. He briefly left Atlanta to lead Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport in 2015, but returned to Hartsfield-Jackson the following year.
Bheodari currently oversees public safety and security, operations, maintenance and transportation, planning and development; and sustainability, asset management and facilities.
Before joining the Atlanta airport, Bheodari retired after 22 years with the U.S. Army. He was a helicopter pilot and led a team writing military doctrines and regulations, with his last assignment at Fort McPherson.
Born and raised in Guyana, Bheodari moved to the United States with his father at the age of 19 and has a degree in aviation management from Troy University.
He worked as a high school teacher in Guyana, when he came to New York and decided to learn to be a pilot, filling out a 3-by-5 card in a Reader’s Digest to join the military.
In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution when he was named interim aviation deputy general manager, Bheodari explained why he decided to take a position at the Atlanta airport.
“I retired at a very young age, in my early 40s. After I retired, I said I was going to spend some time finishing my basement, and after I finished my basement, there was not much else to do except to keep track of time until my wife would come home from work,” Bheodari said. “In the military, we’re very structured and time means everything to a soldier. So when my wife says she will come home at 4, and 4 or 5 comes and she is not home, eventually I start tapping my finger. So she said, ‘You need to go find yourself a job before we find ourselves in a difficult situation.’”