Yaft, who has served in executive positions within operations management, airport safety and security compliance, and master plan implementation during a 20 year career in aviation, will assume the top job at the Texas gateway on June 10.
At LAWA, she served as deputy executive director of operations and emergency management and led airport operations throughout a series of major infrastructure projects at LAX.
Austin Bergstrom states that Yaft is "highly recognised and respected for building collaborative relationships with business leaders and stakeholders at all organisational levels".
And LAWA's former executive director, Gina Marie Lindsey, has no hesitation in declaring that "Austin is very fortunate to have attracted Jackie Yaft."
She adds: "She was invaluable to the turn-around at LAX, is an excellent team leader, and really knows what it takes to make great airports work for travellers.”
Yaft received a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management from Metropolitan State College of Denver and a Master of Business Administration from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
And she is accredited as an International Airport Professional through the Global ACI-ICAO Airport Management Professional Accreditation Programme.
She has recently honed her management and business skills as a principal with aviation consulting firms Ross & Baruzzini and Paslay Management Group.
“I am excited to welcome Jackie to the City of Austin,” says Austin City manager, Spencer Cronk.
“She stood out among a pool of highly qualified and talented candidates because she has the experience and skills to help Austin realise our airport of the future.”
Yaft succeeds retiring aviation executive director, Jim Smith, who Cronk claims was "Instrumental during the critical stages of establishing the Austin Aviation Master Plan and overseeing the successful 9-gate expansion of the Barbara Jordan Terminal".