Clyde Higgs currently serves as CEO & President (Interim) of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. In this role he leads the executive team in providing oversight of the Economic Development, Design & Construction, Real Estate Development, Housing, Procurement, and Human Resources activities of ABI. He also lends his leadership to establishing and expanding strong working relationships with private and public partners across the region, state and nation. Clyde brings 20 years’ experience in economic development, real estate, intellectual property, technology, strategic planning, design, real estate development, grant and donor funding, and government relations, with a diversity of projects including those that specialize in urban innovation, science and technology.
Clyde joined ABI three years ago from his position as Executive Vice President of Operations & Development for the North Carolina Research Campus, a multi-faceted initiative of Los Angeles real estate developer Castle & Cooke using the recruitment of science and technology companies as the platform to redevelop and reinvigorate Kannapolis, a former textile town near Charlotte, North Carolina. As a top executive at the Kannapolis Project, he helped steer the day-to-day operations of a multi-billion-dollar revitalization effort involving economic revitalization of the local economy. His work entailed ground and facility leasing over vast tracks of industrial lands and facilities; oversight of a complex multi-million annual operating budget; supervision of 60+ employees and consultants; and organizational direction of the capital improvements program. He also provided strategic guidance for broad-based community advocacy and engagement, partnership development with state and local governments, universities, construction and design vendors, and real estate brokers and investors to ensure the project’s success.
Before joining the NC Research Campus, Clyde served in various technology-based, economic development leadership roles.
Clyde is a graduate of the University of South Alabama and holds a graduate degree in Public Administration from East Carolina University. He has served on numerous boards and professional organizations, including two gubernatorial appointments: by Texas Governor Rick Perry to the Texas Emerging Technology (Board) for early stage companies working on innovations in the fields of biotechnology, healthcare, energy and information technology; and by North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue to the State Board of Community Colleges where he served as Vice Chair.