“Leveraging relationships is the best way to maximize investments, but it takes strategic thinking, focused attention, effective communication, and an understanding of the process at hand.”
Malaika Rivers develops strategies and leads teams that deliver the technical, political and financial components of successful public-private partnerships.
Her efforts help business and governmental interests find common ground, communicate their needs, leverage their resources and – most critically – stay the course in order to deliver complex projects and initiatives.
With a deep understanding of transportation infrastructure and public policy coupled with commercial real estate and project management, Malaika easily migrates between the disparate interests of business people, politicians, agency heads, engineers and construction professionals to keep their collective efforts moving forward.
In her 26-year career, Malaika played instrumental roles in planning and delivering capital projects on behalf of many prominent commercial real estate partners, including the Atlanta Braves’ $1.3B stadium, SunTrust Park. She played lead roles on local, state, regional and federal partnerships such as capacity building projects like the $875M I-75 Northwest Corridor Managed Lanes and place-making projects like the $100M Trail & Pedestrian Network.
A leading expert on developing and managing community improvement districts (CIDs), Malaika spent more than two decades at the helm of the Cumberland CID. Under her leadership and vision the submarket successfully leveraged $140M in commercial real estate value into more than $2B in capital improvements. It grew an additional 6M square feet, or $3B worth of commercial and multifamily real estate.
A four-time “Notable Georgian” by Georgia Trend Magazine, Malaika also was honored with a “100 Influential Women to Know” distinction by the American Council of Engineering Companies, a “25 Power Women to Watch” by Atlanta Woman magazine, a “40 Under 40” by both Georgia Trend Magazine and Atlanta Business Chronicle, and a “Woman of Achievement” by the YWCA.
Malaika completed leadership programs at Harvard Business School and was an appointee of the Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives. She’s held board seats with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the Council for Quality Growth and Urban Land Institute Livable Communities Council. She’s a member of Lambda Alpha International, a land economics society, as well as a graduate of the Regional Leadership Institute and Leadership Cobb.
In earlier capacities, Ms. Rivers was with the Atlanta Regional Commission and before that, with private industry in Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia. She holds a B.S. from Virginia Tech and is an avid hiker, an enthusiastic world traveler and a volunteer helping to feed, clothe and house those in need. She lives in Atlanta with her two children.