Chief Operating Officer, Atlanta Housing
If home is where the heart is, Terri Lee has been working to open the southeast’s heart to people of all backgrounds and income levels for more than 20 years. As one of the nation’s foremost champions for housing affordability, equity and access, Terri has successfully combined her passion for people with an expertise in public policy to help avail affordable housing resources to residents from Mississippi to Georgia. An impactful community development professional, Terri is an operations strategist with a proven record of employing creative solutions to improve outcomes within the public and non-profit business sectors. Terri is a sought-after organizational improvement expert, with successful projects including restructuring and realigning housing and development agencies; implementing strategies to encourage neighborhood stabilization efforts; and formulating policies to create community development investment opportunities that stimulate neighborhood transformation and growth.
Following 14 years of leadership in the City of Atlanta’s Department of City Planning, Terri was appointed the City of Atlanta’s first Chief Housing Officer (“CHO”) by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. As CHO, Terri galvanized five city housing agencies to collaboratively produce thousands of affordable units deploying nearly $1 billion in public funds. Terri brings her considerable housing skills and collaboration acumen to Atlanta Housing, one of the nation’s largest public affordable housing agencies. She has also actualized her expertise in community development as a board member of the Freddie Mac National Affordable Housing Council, Trees Atlanta, Urban Land Institute Advisory Board, Rebuilding Together Atlanta and the Atlanta Collaborative Land Trust, where she was a founding board member.
In collaboration with the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and Neighborworks America, Terri was one of 50 professional leaders in the nation selected to participate in the Achieving Excellence Program. She has earned designations as a Certified Community Developer from the University of Central Arkansas and as a Certified HOME Program Specialist from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Equal parts community planner and community participant, Terri also invests in the future of community development through her service as an adjunct professor at Georgia State University, where she teaches Real Estate Principles and Urban Development.
A proud HBCU graduate, Terri holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration from Grambling State University and a Master of Public Policy and Administration degree from Jackson State University. Terri is a lifelong member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a public service organization. Terri has a passion for lifting families and building effective teams. Terri demonstrates this passion every day.