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Brian P. McGowan

Nonresident Senior Fellow - Metropolitan Policy Program

On August 23, 2017, the ABI Board of Directors voted to elect Brian McGowan as President and CEO of the Atlanta BeltLine.  Prior to his appointment, Mr. McGowan served as a Principal with the global law firm Dentons. At Dentons, McGowan led a practice area that focused on global economic development initiatives where he engaged with business leaders and elected officials to address community and job growth challenges. Prior to this, Mr. McGowan was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Metro Atlanta Chamber where he modernized operations and expanded regional economic development collaboration. In 2011, McGowan served as the CEO of Invest Atlanta where he refocused the organization to be a catalyst for community revitalization, economic growth and global competitiveness. During his tenure at Invest Atlanta, he was responsible for programs that facilitated the creation of more than 23,000 jobs and nearly $2 billion in investment in the City of Atlanta. McGowan is also a Non-resident Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Earlier in his career, Mr. McGowan was appointed by President Barack Obama to be US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce, served as an economic advisor in the White House National Incident Command for the BP oil spill and was appointed US co-chair for the OECD working party on territorial policy for rural areas. Brian was also appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as Deputy Secretary for Economic Development and Commerce for the State of California. He has also held economic development positions in California with the City of Palm Springs, the City of Ontario and the County of San Bernardino. He has also supported a USAID funded program to help cities in Bulgaria create economic development programs. Throughout his career, Mr. McGowan has created new economic initiatives including the California iHub program, Start Up Atlanta, Strong Cities/Strong Communities, SelectUSA and the i6 Challenge.

Mr. McGowan has received numerous awards and recognitions for his work including the U.S. Coast Guard Commanders Award for Civilian Service, RealShare Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 Real Estate Professionals and the Michael and Mary Johnston Fellowship in American Politics. Mr. McGowan also has extensive community involvement including serving as a Board Member of the following organizations: the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, International Economic Development Council, the McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority, the Combine, the Center for Civic Innovation, the Georgia Advanced Technology Ventures Inc., and the University of California, Riverside School of Public Policy. Mr. McGowan has also serves as the Chair of the Georgia Foreign Trade Zone.

Mr. McGowan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California, Riverside and a Master’s degree in Politics, Economics and Business from the Claremont Graduate University.

On August 23, 2017, the ABI Board of Directors voted to elect Brian McGowan as President and CEO of the Atlanta BeltLine.  Prior to his appointment, Mr. McGowan served as a Principal with the global law firm Dentons. At Dentons, McGowan led a practice area that focused on global economic development initiatives where he engaged with business leaders and elected officials to address community and job growth challenges. Prior to this, Mr. McGowan was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Metro Atlanta Chamber where he modernized operations and expanded regional economic development collaboration. In 2011, McGowan served as the CEO of Invest Atlanta where he refocused the organization to be a catalyst for community revitalization, economic growth and global competitiveness. During his tenure at Invest Atlanta, he was responsible for programs that facilitated the creation of more than 23,000 jobs and nearly $2 billion in investment in the City of Atlanta. McGowan is also a Non-resident Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Earlier in his career, Mr. McGowan was appointed by President Barack Obama to be US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce, served as an economic advisor in the White House National Incident Command for the BP oil spill and was appointed US co-chair for the OECD working party on territorial policy for rural areas. Brian was also appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as Deputy Secretary for Economic Development and Commerce for the State of California. He has also held economic development positions in California with the City of Palm Springs, the City of Ontario and the County of San Bernardino. He has also supported a USAID funded program to help cities in Bulgaria create economic development programs. Throughout his career, Mr. McGowan has created new economic initiatives including the California iHub program, Start Up Atlanta, Strong Cities/Strong Communities, SelectUSA and the i6 Challenge.

Mr. McGowan has received numerous awards and recognitions for his work including the U.S. Coast Guard Commanders Award for Civilian Service, RealShare Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 Real Estate Professionals and the Michael and Mary Johnston Fellowship in American Politics. Mr. McGowan also has extensive community involvement including serving as a Board Member of the following organizations: the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, International Economic Development Council, the McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority, the Combine, the Center for Civic Innovation, the Georgia Advanced Technology Ventures Inc., and the University of California, Riverside School of Public Policy. Mr. McGowan has also serves as the Chair of the Georgia Foreign Trade Zone.

Mr. McGowan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California, Riverside and a Master’s degree in Politics, Economics and Business from the Claremont Graduate University.

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