Becker, who has been with Mineta San Jose International Airport since 1995, and director since 2013, will take over May 1.
Bowens, who has headed the authority since its inception, retires on Friday.
In the meantime, Angela Shafer-Payne, the Aarport authority’s vice president of operations, will serve as interim president/CEO.
Shafer-Payne has been with San Diego International Airport (SAN) since 1995.
SAN is the nation’s busiest single-runway airport and last year saw total passenger volume increase to a record 20 million,
“We undertook a thorough, deliberate process to find our next leader,” saya airport authority board chairman, April Boling.
“Our Search Committee reached out to community and industry leaders, and we thank them for their invaluable input. We engaged internationally renowned search firm Korn Ferry, cast a very wide net geographically and by industry, and identified numerous well qualified candidates.
“Ultimately, it is about continuing the progress we are already making and it is about leadership.
"We are delighted to have recruited Kim, whose proven leadership capabilities and collaborative style will allow our agile, high-performing team to take SAN to the next level.”
Becker will join San Diego International Airport as it is aggressively adding new non-stop air service, building a new Customs and Border Protection facility to accommodate rapid growth of international arrivals, and planning the replacement of the 50-year-old Terminal 1.
Additionally, the authority board just completed a five-year strategic plan.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity that I am honoured to have,” Becker said.
“Thella has built a strong organization and culture. Succeeding her allows me to leverage all that I have done in San Jose and to build on a very solid foundation.
“My excitement is mirrored in SAN’s tagline – Let’s GO!"
Becker also worked at Teterboro Airport in NJ and Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport for a total of 10 years.
She earned a BS in Business Administration from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.