Dickens announces leaders of transition team, including Sam Massell, APS chief

Andre Dickens waves to the crowd just after being sworn in as Mayor of Atlanta during a ceremony at Georgia Tech on Monday, Jan. 3, 2022. Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Ben Gray

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Andre Dickens waves to the crowd just after being sworn in as Mayor of Atlanta during a ceremony at Georgia Tech on Monday, Jan. 3, 2022. Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Ben Gray

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens’ transition team will be led by his campaign’s top strategist and a former opponent in the mayor’s race, his office announced Thursday.

Dentons attorney and former mayoral candidate Sharon Gay will co-chair the transition team with Howard Franklin, CEO of political strategy group Ohio River South.

The transition team will provide advice to the Dickens administration as it fills top management positions at City Hall and crafts its political agenda. Gay endorsed Dickens in the runoff election, while Franklin served as his senior strategist.

Dickens also named five honorary co-chairs for the transition team, including former Mayor Sam Massell; Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Lisa Herring; Georgia State University President Brian Blake; Federal Reserve of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic; and Bank of America’s President of Global Commercial Banking Wendy Stewart.

ExploreAndre Dickens sworn in as Atlanta’s 61st mayor

The full transition team is expected to be announced next week.

“I am pleased to have this experienced and thoughtful group of individuals serving on my Administration’s transition team,” Dickens said in a statement, adding that Franklin and Gay’s “leadership and expertise will be invaluable as we build an administration focused on moving Atlanta forward and unifying our city.”

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The team will come up with recommendations for Dickens focused on four subject areas: safe streets, ethics, youth and education, and neighborhood empowerment.

“Sharon and I are excited to work with Mayor Dickens and this dynamic group of leaders to bring to life many of the ideas we heard on the campaign trail, and some we did not,” Franklin said.

Given the short period of time between the election and the end of the year, it’s not uncommon for mayors to announce a full transition team shortly after taking office. Former Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced her transition team two weeks after taking the reins at City Hall in 2018. Some members went on to serve under her at City Hall.