Kasim Reed is a litigator and politician who served as the 59th Mayor of the city of Atlanta for two terms from 2010 – 2018. His practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, as well as public policy, and he brings his formidable experience in both areas to bear for the benefit of his clients.
As Mayor, Kasim was credited for increasing core city services while reducing the City’s spending during the worst recession in 80 years. Working with the Atlanta City Council and the city’s employee unions, Mayor Reed successfully led a series of sweeping reforms to address the city’s US$1.5 billion unfunded pension liability. He began his term facing a US$48 million budget shortfall, yet, under his leadership, the city produced eight years of balanced budgets with no property tax increases, increased its cash reserves from US$7.4 million to US$200 million, and received eight consecutive credit-rating increases. When Mayor Reed left office in January 2018, the city of Atlanta was on its best financial footing in 40 years and his approval rating was 65%, while Atlanta had earned a 69% “right track” rating from its residents.
As a champion for Atlanta and the state of Georgia, Kasim served on a number of advisory committees. He is the former chairman of the Transportation and Communications Committee of the US Conference of Mayors and former chairman of the Regional Transit Committee of the Atlanta Regional Commission. He is a graduate member of the Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowship Class of 2007, Leadership Georgia Class of 2000 and Leadership Atlanta Class of 1998.
Kasim’s civic leadership and service have been nationally recognized on programs such as Meet the Press; on news outlets such as MSNBC, CNN, FOX and CNBC; and in publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. Mayor Reed was a prime-time speaker at the 2016 National Democratic Convention in Philadelphia and he has been a guest speaker at numerous national and international conferences, including The World Economic Forum, Aspen Ideas Festival, Chicago Ideas Week, New York Ideas, New Cities Summit, Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America and the Gathering of Leaders.
Kasim is a graduate of Howard University in Washington DC, where he received his Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees. He also has honorary degrees from several other institutions. As an undergraduate member of Howard University's Board of Trustees, he created a fundraising program that has contributed more than US$20 million to the university’s endowment since its inception. He was appointed as Howard University's youngest General Trustee in June 2002 and currently serves as a dedicated Trustee Emeriti.