News & Politics

Guest List: Today’s Newsmakers

The Washingtonians in headlines today we’d like to have dinner with tonight

About Guest List

Guest List is Washingtonian’s monthly roundup of the fantasy cast we’d like to see for dinner this month.

• Paul Wiedenfeld. The executive director of Baltimore-Washington International Airport has a tricky new role: figuring out how to get Americans to Cuba. The Obama administration has given permission for charter flights, and charter flights only, to fly into and out of Cuba from six new airports, including BWI, tripling the number of American cities that are access points to the isolated island. The U.S. and Cuban governments will still have to approve each flight, so for Wiedenfeld, new business comes with new requirements for diplomacy.

• Kaya Henderson. After she stepped in as interim schools chancellor following Michelle Rhee’s abrupt departure, it’s no real surprise that Henderson got the nod from Mayor Vincent Gray to keep running the District’s schools. She’s got a tough road ahead: Financial shortfalls of $50 million means the public schools will have to make cuts and increase classroom sizes. We wish her—and DC students and parents—luck.

• Steven Davis. The chairman of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority Commission is touting the 153 companies that moved to the county or expanded their operations there, creating 6,400 jobs. Fairfax will need to keep that up. A new report from the county’s Advisory Commission estimates that Fairfax will have 845,000 people in its workforce by 2030, up from 600,000 today, meaning the county will have to grow by more than 12,000 jobs a year to meet demand.

• Montgomery Blair Sibley. This former lawyer likes to walk on the cutting edge of the law. He defended Deborah Jeane Palfrey and released the records of her escort service to the public. Now he’s trying to get in on the ground floor of the medical-marijuana business in Washington, where dreams of big fortunes are meeting up with the realities of heavy regulation.

• Ruth Waters. The president of the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce must be pleasantly surprised—it turns out that Maryland city’s boardwalk has an international fan base. When the city put out a poll about what to do with the deteriorating promenade, voters from 25 countries and 2,000 cities weighed in. Now Ocean City businesses must figure out how to tap that enthusiasm.

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