He succeedes Kevin Toland, who announced his intention to step down from the role earlier this year and leaves on September 7.
Dublin Airport was the fastest growing major European airport in 2016 when it handled nearly 28m passengers, while numbers at Cork Airport increased by 8% to 2.2 million.
Philips, who was born in Dublin, has held a number of senior leadership roles in retail and related industries, working in 14 countries for companies including Walmart, Loblaw (Canada’s leading retailer) and Morrisons.
Daa chairman, Pádraig Ó Ríordáin, said: “We are delighted that Dalton is joining us. He combines extensive international experience with deep strategic insight and an outstanding track record of operational delivery.
"His leadership will be critical to daa as we address the challenges of Brexit and the delivery of the North Runway at Dublin Airport, while maintaining growth of our airports and the international businesses. Like Kevin before him, I know Dalton is going to make a real difference.”
Philips himself said: “Daa plays an essential role within the Irish economy, with Dublin and Cork airports alone generating or facilitating more than 100,000 jobs in the Irish economy and contributing the equivalent of 4.4% of GDP.
"I’m delighted to take up this role after a long career abroad and am looking forward to working with daa’s strong and ambitious team as well as all the key stakeholders.
"Our focus will continue to be on providing the best customer experience for the millions of passengers who travel through our airports every year.”