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Atlanta Regional Commission Executive Director Anna Roach Appoints New Executive Leadership Team

Atlanta — Jul 18, 2022

Atlanta Regional Commission Executive Director Anna Roach today announced a new senior leadership structure designed to strategically position the agency to continue its efforts to enhance quality of life across the Atlanta region.

“ARC is already one of the Atlanta region’s most impactful organizations, and these changes will only strengthen our ability to build a better future for all metro Atlanta residents,” said Roach. “ARC is fortunate to have a highly talented and effective staff, and I was able to fill these critically important positions by promoting from within.”

The new leadership structure consolidates programmatic oversight, elevates legal, financial, and human resources fiduciaries to the executive leadership team, and emphasizes strategic alignment across the agency with corresponding performance metrics focused on impact and outcomes for the region.

“Anna Roach is an inspirational leader who has brought together a top-notch executive team that is poised to take this agency to even greater heights and help shape a better, brighter future for our region,” said ARC Board Chairman Kerry Armstrong. “That we were able to find this talent in-house is a testament to the quality and effectiveness of ARC’s staff.”

Headshot of Mike Alexander

Mike Alexander has been named Chief Operating Officer and is responsible for all agency program areas, including transportation planning, mobility services, community development, natural resources, research, and analytics, aging and independence services, workforce development, and homeland security. The Chief Operating Officer’s role is designed to function as a Deputy Executive Director to include the responsibilities of the Executive Director in her absence. Alexander previously served as Senior Director of ARC’s Center for Livable Communities.

Headshot of Malika Reed Wilkins

Dr. Malika Reed Wilkins has been named Chief External Affairs Officer and oversees ARC’s enterprise strategy efforts designed to guide the development of the agency’s planning work. In addition, Dr. Wilkins is responsible for governmental affairs, communications and marketing, creative and digital media, and corporate engagement across the agency. Wilkins previously served as Senior Director of ARC’s Center for Strategic Relations.

Headshot of Brittany Zwald

Brittany Zwald has been named General Counsel, bringing this critical role in-house. In addition to the day-to-day legal advisory duties, Zwald will lead procurement and compliance efforts across the agency.  Zwald previously served as ARC’s staff legal counsel.

Headshot of Sheila Benefield

Sheila Benefield has been named Chief Human Resources Officer. She previously served as ARC’s managing director of talent management, joining the agency in 2015. She has over 30 years of experience in human resources management roles. Benefield previously served as Operations Director for Talent Management.

Headshot of Kelly Smith

Kelly Smith has been named Deputy Chief Financial Officer. She has served at ARC for 18 years, previously serving as Operations Director of Finance. Smith is responsible for the Annual Comprehensive Financing Report, the agency’s accounting practice, and managing and facilitating enterprise audits.


The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the official planning agency for the 11-county Atlanta Region, including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, and Rockdale counties as well as the City of Atlanta and 74 other cities. The Atlanta Regional Commission serves as a catalyst for regional progress by focusing leadership, attention, and planning resources on key regional issues.

Contact Name: Paul Donsky
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