On Wednesday, August 8, the Board of Directors for Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) announced that Clyde Higgs was appointed to the role of Interim Chief Executive Officer of the agency, following the departure of current CEO Brian P. McGowan. Clyde Higgs has served as ABI’s Chief Operating Officer since September 2015 and has provided consistent stewardship of the organization alongside the two previous CEOs.
“As an essential part of the ABI leadership team, Clyde has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to ensuring the BeltLine remains true to its mission and vision,” said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “The BeltLine is physically connecting Atlanta’s many diverse communities and neighborhoods, and it is important to have a leader in place who understands the significance of accomplishing this goal.”
“Clyde’s impressive background in economic development and urban revitalization, coupled with his experience working cohesively with ABI’s board, staff and other key stakeholders, will allow him to transition to the interim role with ease,” said John Somerhalder, Chairman of the ABI Board of Directors. “The Board has worked with Clyde ever since he joined ABI, and we trust him to take the helm as we search for permanent leadership.”
“Clyde has been a great colleague and he has become a friend during my short term at ABI,” said Brian P. McGowan, outgoing CEO. “Clyde embodies the values that align with ABI’s mission, and I am fully confident in his ability to continue steering this project towards a vision that connects this City and supports the Mayor’s vision of One Atlanta.”
Prior to joining ABI in 2015, Clyde served as the Executive Vice President of a collaborative, multi-billion dollar revitalization effort led by the state of North Carolina and real estate developer Castle & Cooke. This public private partnership, between state and local government and the private sector, significantly reinvigorated Kannapolis, North Carolina by improving workforce development, housing affordability, mobility, and health outcomes by integrating environmental and technological best practices to enhance overall quality of life for its residents and workers. Since moving to Atlanta, Clyde has continued to foster his commitment for equitable redevelopment and improving the overall quality of life for Atlanta residents through his role as ABI’s COO as well as his appointments to the Boards of Trees Atlanta and the City of Atlanta’s Affordable Housing Commission.
Outgoing CEO Brian McGowan announced in July that he has accepted a role as CEO of Greater Seattle Partners, an economic development organization in Washington. His last day will be August 17, 2018. The Board of Directors will commence a national search to determine ABI’s next permanent CEO.