Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed names Obama executive to head city’s development arm
By David Pendered
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced today the city’s development arm will be headed by a man who now works in President Obama’s administration.
Reed named Brian McGowan, who now is a deputy assistant secretary/COO in the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration, as president and CEO of the Atlanta Development Authority.
In choosing McGowan, Reed passed over longtime ADA executive Ernestine Garey, who now serves as the ADA’s interim president. The third finalist for the job was Daniel Gundersen, who formerly served as New York’s commissioner of economic development and has White House connections.
“I believe that Brian McGowan’s extensive experience having worked at all levels of government will help the Atlanta Development Authority continue to move the City of Atlanta toward economic recovery,” Reed said in a statement released by his office.
“We’ve made great strides over the past 16 months with initiatives such as the ongoing revitalization of the Historic Westside District, the redevelopment of Fort McPherson, and the relocation of Porsche’s headquarters to the city.
“I am confident that under Brian’s leadership, we will build on that strong foundation and generate even more economic investment and development opportunities for the City of Atlanta.”
McGowan’s resume says he worked on the gulf disaster recovery in addition to devising economic development policies for cities in Serbia and Bulgaria.
“I am honored to have been selected as the new President/CEO of the Atlanta Development Authority, and I am grateful for the confidence that Mayor Reed and the board members have placed in me,” McGowan said in a statement released by the mayor’s office.
“Atlanta is one of America’s greatest cities because of the value it has placed on innovation, education and connections to the global economy. It’s an economic powerhouse and a city poised for 21st century leadership and growth,” he said.
“I look forward to working with public and private sector leaders throughout the region to accelerate that momentum and create jobs and opportunity for the people of Atlanta,” McGowan said.
The mayor chairs the ADA board and handpicks the president and CEO of an authority that is not accountable to the Atlanta City Council.
The ADA dispenses money to promote the city through bond issues that subsidize development; revolving loan funds for businesses; tax credits; and tax increment financing – known in Atlanta as tax allocation districts.
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