Aasia Mustakeem joins ABI as General Counsel and Ruben Brooks joins as Chief Operating Officer
Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Aasia Mustakeem to the position of General Counsel. In this capacity, Ms. Mustakeem will work closely with the Chief Executive Officer and executive team providing senior level leadership, innovation, and focus to advance ABl’s goals and initiatives. She will work collaboratively with city leaders, community organizations, and numerous other private and public stakeholders to help manage all legal matters including general corporate transactions, corporate governance, compliance and risk management, and a wide variety of real estate-related matters including transactional work and negotiations.
ABI also welcomes Ruben Brooks to the company as Chief Operating Officer. As COO, Mr. Brooks will work in partnership with the President and CEO to ensure the successful implementation of the Atlanta BeltLine and provide operations and organizational management of the organization. Mr. Brooks will oversee ABI’s senior leadership responsible for Affordable Housing, Real Estate, Economic Development, Design and Construction; Program Management, and Transportation, in addition to working directly with the Executive and Public Affairs Teams to ensure that there is organizational alignment. This position will support the President and Chief Executive Officer in maintaining strategic partnerships, opportunities, resource development, and relationships with Board members, elected officials and public and private investors.
“We are honored to have such accomplished executives join our team”, stated Clyde A. Higgs, President and CEO of ABI. “Their wealth of knowledge, extensive expertise, leadership, and commitment to transparency and excellence will be of great service to the residents of Atlanta.”
About Aasia Mustakeem
Prior to Ms. Mustakeem’s appointment as General Counsel of ABI, she most recently served as Partner at Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP. In this role, she focused her practice on the representation of developers, investors, and owners of commercial real estate in a full range of transactions including acquisition, disposition, and development of office, hotel, retail, industrial, and mixed-use projects.
Prior to her tenure at Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP, Ms. Mustakeem served as Partner for over three decades in several different firms, providing legal services including, but not limited to: advising lenders and borrowers in secured loan and workout transactions; representing both landlords and tenants in negotiating commercial leases; and representing institutions nationwide in the ownership, operation and finance of corporate-owned real estate. She has counseled companies in the purchase and sale of timberlands, and has advised companies in connection with project and infrastructure finance.
Her extensive community involvement includes Mustakeem’s role as Chairperson of the Georgia Board of Bar Examiners, Chairperson of the Commission on Continuing Lawyer Competency, and a member of the National MPT/MEE Committee of the National Conference of Bar Examiners. She is a member of several boards, including the Georgia Bar Foundation and the Real Estate Executive Council (REEC); is a member of Leadership Atlanta and Leadership CREW; and is a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers.
Ms. Mustakeem received her B.A., cum laude, from the University of Pittsburgh and her J.D., cum laude, from Georgia State University College of Law. She is admitted to practice in Georgia, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
Ms. Mustakeem’s first day at ABI was July 15, 2019.
About Ruben Brooks
Prior to his appointment as the Chief Operating Officer of ABI, Mr. Brooks most recently served as Regional Center Director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) Office of Multifamily Housing for nearly seven years where he led the South East Region (11 offices including San Juan, PR) in making large scale commercial real estate investment and asset management decisions. He led a team of over 162 real estate professionals throughout the region and directed the multifamily activity including the underwriting of market rate, tax credit, FHA insured and affordable transactions, loan production, asset management, operations and customer relations. Mr. Brooks was also responsible for managing and minimizing the credit losses to the FHA insurance fund on a market rate and subsidized asset portfolio that approximated $17 billion in outstanding loan commitments, 491,000 apartment units and over 6,000 properties. During his tenure at HUD, Mr. Brooks’ signature accomplishment was leading the region’s transformation effort which included modernizing and realigning the region’s FHA business model and underwriting and asset management platform to accelerate transaction approval, better classify risk, streamline decision making, and improve customer service.
Prior to HUD, Mr. Brooks’ spent over 19 years at Fannie Mae in a variety of leadership positions most notably as Director of Multifamily Construction and Interim Finance and Director of Multifamily Affordable Housing. A native of Baltimore, Mr. Brooks received a BS degree in Management from Morgan State University’s Earl G. Graves School of Business, an MPA degree from the University of Baltimore’s Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences, and an MS degree in Real Estate from Johns Hopkins University’s Carey School of Business. Mr. Brooks sits on the Board of Directors of Junior Achievement of Georgia and is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta’s Class of 2015. Mr. Ruben is a basketball, baseball, football and exercise enthusiast and has a keen interest in financial literacy, work readiness and economic empowerment.
Mr. Ruben’s first day at ABI was August 5, 2019.