Mary Grady, a former television reporter who served a decade as an LAPD spokeswoman, has been named director of public and media relations at Los Angeles International Airport.
Grady assumes the role on Monday, when she will manage communication programs with media outlets and communities surrounding the nation's third-busiest airport, said Gina Marie Lindsey, executive director of LAX.
"Her experience and leadership will help create a better understanding of the elements of a balanced and comprehensive airport development program," Lindsey said in a memo to LAX employees.
Grady left the Los Angeles Police Department in June after serving 10 years as the agency's media and public relations director.
Before that, she worked 13 years as a television reporter for KCAL, KCBS and KCOP. During that time, Grady won three Emmys and four Golden Mike Awards and was named an Associated Press Reporter of the Year.
The move comes one month after an airport-commissioned study found that "there is a low awareness of the improvements being made at LAX."
More than three out of five Los Angeles residents have not read or heard media reports about the airport's ongoing $4 billion capital improvement program, according to a report by Santa Monica-based Fairbank, Maslin Maullin, Metz and Associates.
"The communications role has become so much bigger because of all the work we're doing at LAX," said Michael Collins, communications director at LAX.
"The communications role needs to be much more developed and honed because there's lots of activity going on at LAX, and the community needs to know about that," Collins said. "We're hoping that this move will improve that visibility."
Grady will oversee some of the duties that were held by Michael Molina, who resigned in June as LAX's deputy executive director of external affairs for allegedly sending sexually suggestive messages on a city-issued cellphone.
Other aspects of Molina's job will be split by two other people. Celine Cordero, a longtime deputy to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, will now serve as director of external affairs at LAX, where she will oversee community relations and communications with federal officials. Communication with local government officials will be handled by Mark Adams, a longtime airport employee.