Meet Karen Korir, named among Top 40 Airline Executives under 40

A Kenyan woman has been named as one of the top 40 under 40 by a US Airports magazine. The magazine Airport Business Magazine named Karen Korir as one of the top performing airline executives in the country under the age of 40.

Ms Korir, 36, works at the Houston Airport System as a Managing Aviation planner. She has been in the aviation industry for the last 12 years.

She received her undergraduate degree at the Coe College, Iowa in 2002. Most of her family attended Coe College including her father Kip Korir who graduated in 1974, her siblings Cindy Korir class of 1996, Diane Korir 2001, and Dan Korir who graduated in 2007.


She earned her Master’s degree in 2005 from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and she also holds a American Association of Airport Executives (AEEE) certification and provides coaching sessions to colleagues prepare for the certification.

According to the Airport Business Magazine, Karen Korir chose a career in aviation planning because of its complex
interdisciplinary body of work. She explains on any given day “you are dealing with engineering, architecture, law
regulations, finance, operations, corporate strategy, project management, and the list goes on.”

Korir juggles a lot as an aviation industry planner for the world’s busiest airports. She currently serves as managing planner for Houston Airport System, covering three airports that include George Bush InterContinental Airport, Hobby Airport and Ellington Airport.

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She led the program planning effort for the $1.5 billion InterContinental Airport Terminal Redevelopment Program (ITRP) that includes a new international terminal, expansion and reconfiguration of Federal Inspection Service, a new vehicle parking garage and other infrastructure improvements. This leadership undertaking involved rigorous technical planning effort and coordination with hub airline United, foreign flag airlines, federal agencies and other airport stakeholders.

Korir also served in an executive level negotiation committee with United Airlines, which resulted in a successful agreement to transfer an existing terminal facility to accommodate the proposed development plans.

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The program plan for this effort has received several accolades across the industry. Korir has been involved in providing planning support for the development of new master plans for Houston’s airports. She provided planning support for the spaceport study program for Ellington Airport that resulted in the FAA granting Houston Airport System a license in June to build and operate a commercial spaceport.

Earlier in her career, Korir worked at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport as the lead aviation facilities manager for three of its busiest concourses where she oversaw implementation of renovation projects.

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