Sworn in on January 2, 2018, Keisha has served as Mayor during one of the most challenging times in the history of Atlanta. In the midst of a global pandemic and a racial justice movement, Keisha became a leading spokesperson regarding the challenges and opportunities facing cities and leaders across America.
While navigating these unprecedented challenges, the Bottoms Administration was able to remain focused on the resilience of Atlanta, negotiating and closing the largest real estate transaction in the history of Atlanta, and one of the largest in the Southeast United States, delivering millions of dollars in community benefits to people across the city.
Bottoms took proactive measures to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the City and its agencies. As a result, during one of the worst economic downturns the world has ever faced, the Bottoms Administration delivered four years of balanced budgets, without resorting to property tax increases, layoffs, or furloughs of City employees. The City’s reserves remain at a near high of $181M, far exceeding the requirements of the City Charter.
Shaped by a childhood and professional career that highlighted the inequalities amongst Americans, Keisha led her Administration in undertaking several major initiatives that would seek to eradicate systemic issues facing Atlanta, while creating a model for all cities to follow.
Keisha’s steadfast leadership and equity-focused philosophy have led to numerous accolades and leadership positions, including having served as the Chair of the Community Development and Housing Committee and the Census Task Force for the United States Conference of Mayors and as a Trustee for the African American Mayor’s Association. She was also selected to Chair the Platform Committee for the 2020 Democratic National Convention and serves as the DNC’s Vice Chair of Civic Engagement and Voter Protection.
Tracing her family’s roots to a slave plantation in Georgia, it was Keisha’s highest honor to be named 2020 Georgian of the Year by Georgia Trend Magazine. She also was named one of Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year and was named a member of Ebony Magazine’s prestigious Power 100 List. She has also been honored as a BET 100 Entertainer and Innovator of the Year and was named the Smart Cities Dive’s 2020 Leader of the Year. Keisha was also the recipient of the Distinguished Civil Rights Advocate Award presented by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law in recognition of her equity-driven leadership to help guide and protect marginalized communities.
Keisha is the daughter of R&B icon Major Lance and Sylvia Robinson. She and her husband Derek are parents to four children.
- The Leadership Handbook: Lessons from a Former Mayor and Mother of Four
As the 60th mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms quickly became known for her refreshingly authentic approach to leadership. She led through a term that began with the city experiencing a cyberattack and went on to include the COVID-19 pandemic, the murder of George Floyd and the racial justice movement that followed, and the most contentious elections in recent history.
In this conversation, Keisha will share insights from her leadership journey, recounting not only how she achieved the many accomplishments but also how she overcame the obstacles, including the bias she faced as a Black woman. Based on her own experiences as a professional and a mom of four, Keisha will teach audiences how to tap into what it means to be a leader - with a handbook of hard-earned lessons that can be applied across all aspects of work and life.