José Abreu has been Director of the Miami-Dade Aviation Department since 2005, responsible for Miami-Dade County’s top economic engine: Miami International Airport (MIA) and the County’s system of four general aviation airports. His leadership has helped MIA reach record numbers, with more than 38 million passengers and two million tons of cargo in 2011. MIA also became the top U.S. airport for international flights in 2012, with nearly 1,300 weekly flights now serving 85 foreign destinations.
Abreu oversees a $6.4 billion Capital Improvement Program (CIP) that has doubled the size of terminal space at MIA, making it the largest current terminal expansion program in the U.S. During his tenure, the CIP’s 1.7-millionsquare- foot South Terminal was completed and opened in 2007 to now serve near- ly 25 percent of MIA’s passengers. South Terminal was a 2008 design excellence award recipient from the Florida Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the “Project of the Year” award winner from the Miami-Dade chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Abreu’s leadership also resulted in the successful reorganization of the North Terminal Development Program, which was expedited to save two years and approximately $200 million of construction. North Terminal is now 95 percent complete with a total completion date of early 2013. In 2011, the Construction Owners Association of America selected North Terminal as its annual Project Leadership Gold Award Winner, COAA’s highest honor. Additionally, North Terminal was among 35 winners in Engineering News-Record Southeast magazine’s 2011 Best Projects competition and won the 2012 award for Best Overall Terminal Concession Program from Airport Revenue News magazine.
Prior to his July 2005 appointment as Aviation Director, Mr. Abreu served for two and a half years as Secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) under Governor Jeb Bush. In his role, he oversaw the operation of FDOT including seven districts and the Florida Turnpike Enterprise encompassing the entire state, 7,500 employees and an annual budget of $9 billion. Prior to his position as Secretary, Mr. Abreu served 18 years in progressively senior positions at FDOT, including eight years as District Six Secretary for Miami- Dade and Monroe counties.
Abreu has served on a number of boards, including the United Way Executive Board, the University of Miami and the Association of Cuban-American Civil Engineers. In March 2008, he was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to serve on the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (TTAB), during the Bush Administration. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Mr. Abreu has received numerous awards including: the 1996 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Miami College of Engineering; the 2000 Wilbur S. Smith Award; the National Highway Engineering honor; the 2004 Civil Government Award, presented by the American Society of Civil Engineers; and the Florida Engineering Society (FES) award for outstanding service to the profession in the category of government. He was also named one of the “100 Most Influential Hispanics” in 2003 by Hispanic Business magazine and one of the Top 25 Newsmakers of 2007 by Engineering News-Record magazine. In 2009, he received the Wright Brother’s Award presented by the Greater Miami Aviation Association and in 2010 he received the International Achievements Award presented by World Trade Center Miami. In 2011, he was named one of “Miami’s 75 most influential people in politics, business sports and arts” by Poder magazine and received the Bob Graham Architectural Awareness Award presented by the American Institute of Architects. In 2012, he was presented with the “Person of the Year” award by the Florida Customs Brokers &Forwarders Association, Inc. Abreu holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Miami and is a licensed professional engineer and certified engineering contractor.
Abreu is the recipient of the Excellence in Tourism Award, which will be presented to him during the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce’s 90th Annual Dinner Gala on June 2. The award is given to notable individuals or organizations whose insight, leadership and nobility have contributed significantly to the tourism industry in Miami Beach. PortMiami Director Bill Johnson and Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO Bill Talbert have also been recipients.