Keisha Lance Bottoms is a compassionate leader and committed public servant.
Since being sworn into office in January 2010, Keisha has represented a large portion of the historic Southwest Atlanta community as a member of the Atlanta City Council. Over the course of her service, Keisha has sponsored groundbreaking legislation that has addressed the city’s $1.5 billion unfunded pension liability and helped grow the city’s reserves from $7.4 million to nearly $150 million, in just over five years. She has also authored the toughest Panhandling legislation in the history of the city, which combines empathy with enforcement, and has resulted in offenders receiving often-needed social services to help break the cycle of recidivism. Keisha worked with colleagues to achieve the goal of 2,000 officers within the Atlanta Police force, and to successfully balance the City’s budget each year during her time on Council, without increasing taxes. She currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Public Safety Committee and has served as Chair of the Council’s Zoning Committee. During her term as Vice-Chair of the city’s Transportation Committee, the Maynard H. Jackson International terminal at Hartsfield Jackson Airport opened, solidifying Hartsfield Jackson’s place as the busiest airport in the world. Most recently, Keisha launched Invest in Southwest, a 360- degree urban planning initiative with the goal of revitalizing and expanding economic development within the Southwest Atlanta community.
In addition to her service on the Atlanta City Council, Keisha also serves as Executive Director of The City of Atlanta and Fulton County Recreation Authority (AFCRA). As Executive Director of AFCRA, Keisha is the chief executive officer of the organization that owns and oversees operations for iconic recreation and entertainment venues across Atlanta, including Turner Field (home of the Atlanta Braves), Philips Arena (home of the Atlanta Hawks), and the world renowned Zoo Atlanta. AFCRA also operates portions of John A. White Park, where the junior gold program The First Tee is hosted in southwest Atlanta. As Executive Director, Keisha implements public policy, fosters community engagement, works alongside corporate partners, and negotiates and manages government relations and public finance.
Notably, Keisha will work with public, private, and community partners over the next year to spearhead the high-stakes, high-profile transition of Turner Field from a Major League Baseball venue, plan the redevelopment of Philips Arena, and oversee the expansion of Zoo Atlanta, which combined represents millions of dollars in urban planning and redevelopment projects that will indelibly change the landscape of Atlanta.
Alongside her public service career, Keisha has maintained a private law practice for more than 20 years, and has served as General Counsel for a multi-million dollar business, as well as a Judge (Pro Hoc) in Fulton County State Court. She has worked as a legal analyst and reporter for various media outlets and has served as a guest speaker and panelist during numerous events, speaking on a variety of topics, including, law, community engagement and public policy.
Keisha’s commitment to community and public service has been recognized by the 2013 YWCA Academy of Women Achievers. She has also been awarded The Trailblazer Award for Outstanding Community Service, the Community Service Icon Award, and the Keeper of the Dream Award. Keisha is a member of the prestigious Leadership Atlanta and has also been honored as one of 10 Outstanding Young Atlantans based upon her professional achievements and dedicated community service.
Keisha has volunteered with numerous community organizations and currently serves on the boards of The Children’s School, the Firefighters’ Pension Fund, Atlanta Mayoral Board of Service, the Andrew and Walter Young YMCA, Central Atlanta Progress, and is a member of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights - Women’s Solidarity Society. She also serves on the Board of Families First, where she shares her personal story of adoption, and advocates on behalf of adoption and foster care.
Keisha has previously served on the Boards of the YWCA of Atlanta, CURE for Childhood Cancer, the Atlanta Cyclorama Task Force, and as a trustee of Ben Hill United Methodist Church.
She is also currently serving her second, consecutive term as gala chair for the National Black Arts Festival, which raises more than a half-million dollars annually in support of the country’s oldest multidisciplinary arts organization focused exclusively on the arts and on artists of African descent.
Keisha is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, the Atlanta Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, the Dogwood City Chapter of The Links, Inc. and the Atlanta Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.
She is a graduate of Florida A&M University, Magna Cum Laude, and Georgia State University College of Law.
Keisha is the daughter of the late American R&B singer and British "Northern soul" icon Major Lance and Sylvia Robinson. She is wife to Derek W. Bottoms with whom she shares the privilege of being the parent of four wonderful children.