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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives
Gerald Mcdowell Atl Airport Community Improvement Districts

Gerald McDowell

Executive Director

ATL Airport Community Improvement Districts

Location: Atlanta

Founded: 2014

Industry: Public-Private (Special Tax District)

In today’s fast-paced world, leadership requires a delicate balance between guiding individuals toward common goals and adapting to ever-changing circumstances, said Gerald McDowell.

“Being adaptable allows leaders to respond to unforeseen challenges, adjust strategies, and encourage innovation within their team,” he said. “Integrating adaptability into my leadership repertoire has equipped me to navigate uncertain situations and inspire my team to embrace change in pursuit of success.”

Embracing and adapting to change is a necessary skill in McDowell’s role as the executive director of the ATL Airport Community Improvement Districts (AACIDs).

The organization is a catalyst for infrastructure enhancements through new investments, project planning, resource management and partnership development. The districts’ key focus areas which include beautification, public safety, transportation infrastructure and wayfinding, ensure that it collectively raises the value of the community’s commercial properties while making the AACIDs a destination for new business, residents and visitors.

Under McDowell’s leadership, the AACIDs has been working on its transit initiative since 2018, and this year, secured over $15 million to advance its work with partnerships from local government and state agencies. In addition, the organization released a request for proposal to build a demonstration pilot for an emerging mobility system that has not been built in the U.S. since 1974. There will be two pilots – one for personal rapid transit and the second one for micro mobility.

“This achievement has gotten national and international recognition and will open the possibility of building Automated Transit Networks (ATN) throughout the United States,” said McDowell.

In addition, the signing ceremony brought key partners, including MARTA, Fulton County, Clayton County, the city of College Park, the Airport West CID and the Airport South CID together. “The signing ceremony was monumental in that it brought together multiple governmental entities to work with us to achieve our transit vision,” said McDowell.

It also inspired McDowell to reflect on his leadership and continue to guide future leaders. McDowell’s passion is mentorship, and since he was named a 2023 Titan 100, he has increased his work with high school students and recent college graduates, engaging in volunteer work and organizing workshops and mentoring programs to support young individuals in their personal and academic growth.

“By combining my passion for education with my commitment to social responsibility, I strive to empower the next generation to thrive and become successful contributors to society,” said McDowell. “Through these efforts, I aspire to empower the next generation, equipping them with the tools they need to overcome obstacles and pursue fulfilling lives.”

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