Jan 11, 2022 - News

Atlanta Mayor names executive cabinet members

Lisa Y. Gordon

Lisa Y. Gordon, CEO of Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, has been named Mayor Andre Dickens' chief operating officer. Photo courtesy of City of Atlanta.

Mayor Andre Dickens has made five key appointments to his executive team.

Lisa Y. Gordon, CEO of Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, will become Dickens’ chief operating officer, the city said Monday. Before joining Habitat for Humanity, Gordon was the chief operating officer for Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.

  • Her government experience includes serving as assistant city manager for Austin, Tx., and East Point’s city manager.

What they’re saying: Dickens said Gordon has extensive city leadership experience and he’s excited for her to join his team.

  • “As a former cabinet officer and policy advisor in the (Shirley) Franklin administration, she brings strong knowledge of Atlanta and city government to this important role,” he said.

Gordon’s first day on the job will be Feb. 7, and the Atlanta City Council will consider approving the appointment.

  • John Keen, who in 2020 was named chief operating officer, will stay on to help with the transition, the city said.

Dickens also named former Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education chair Courtney English as his senior advisor, the city announced Monday. English is the former director of community development for Star-C, a housing nonprofit organization.

Other new faces at City Hall include:

  • Austin Wagner will join the team as deputy chief of staff. He has served as a city council member in Smyrna and communications director for Dickens’ mayoral campaign.
  • Theo Pace, the director of Council Staff, will also serve as deputy chief of staff. He is a previous legislative research and policy analyst for the city.
  • Kenyatta Mitchell is Dickens’ new director of intergovernmental affairs. Mitchell is the former associate vice president of government affairs for HNTB.

Context: Dickens took office last Monday as Atlanta’s 61st mayor. In his inauguration speech, Dickens called on the city to unite before it can tackle issues like poverty, homelessness and public safety.

  • The new mayor says he will launch several initiatives, including his crime reduction plan that calls for hiring 250 police officers, investments in conflict resolution and community policing, and bringing on specialists to address mental health crises to free up officers.

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