Brian McGowan, the No. 2 officer at the Metro Atlanta Chamber who’s also held high-profile roles in economic development in California and the federal government, is joining the public policy and regulatory practice at global law firm Dentons.McGowan, the chamber’s chief operating officer and a former CEO of the city of Atlanta’s development agency, will be a principal in a policy group charged with bringing together business leaders and public officials to tackle job creation issues in major cities worldwide, according to a news release. He will be based in Atlanta.
McGowan was previously tasked by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed with overhauling and broadening the mission of the Atlanta Development Authority under its new banner, Invest Atlanta. During his tenure there, he helped the city negotiate the deal for a new Atlanta Falcons stadium and was also heavily involved in a number of major corporate recruitments, such as Fortune 500 home-builder PulteGroup.
McGowan is a former high-ranking aide to former Republican California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and he served under President Barack Obama as a U.S. deputy assistant secretary of commerce.
McGowan will join Dentons, formerly known in Atlanta before a merger of law firms as McKenna Long & Aldridge, in February.
He joins as Dentons looks to expand upon its roster of well-known politicians, lawyers, consultants and political rainmakers. Though there have been some departures since the merger, Dentons counts among its big names former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, ex-Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and Georgia GOP power Eric Tanenblatt.
“We are delighted that Brian will be joining us and look forward to working with him on important domestic and international economic development projects,” Tanenblatt, co-practice leader of Dentons’ US Public Policy and Regulation practice, said in the release. “Brian’s work at all levels of government and his ability to bridge the public and private sectors with an eye towards business development will be a tremendous asset to our clients.”
Dentons also has a roster of former Atlanta City Hall players, including Steve Labovitz and Sharon Gay, both alums of former Mayor Bill Campbell’s administration.
Staff writer Katie Leslie contributed to this report.