Clyde Higgs ‘99 of Charlotte, executive vice president of operations and business development for the N.C. Research Campus (NCRR) in Kannapolis, is resigning to be chief operating officer of a group implementing a new transportation plan for Atlanta.
Higgs has led economic development recruitment at NCRR for the past nine years.
In his new job Higgs will be vice president and chief operating officer of Atlanta Beltline, the entity overseeing redevelopment of 22 miles of abandoned railroad tracks running through the center of Atlanta. The old rail line will be transformed into 33 miles of trails, 1,300 acres of parks and 5,600 housing units. Its estimated completion date is 2030.
NCRR is a public-private venture aimed at redeveloping industrial property in Kannapolis, which once was the world’s largest producer of textiles. The state gives NCRR about $30 million a year to support its research programs. The funding is directed through the UNC system. Several UNC system campuses have a presence there.
Higgs is credited with recruiting 20 partners in NCRR, including major universities and international food companies such as General Mills. The center now employs about 1,000 people.
Before joining NCRR, Higgs was the executive director of the technology incubator program at the University of North Texas-Health Science Center. Before working in Texas, he was director of the Office of Technology Transfer & Commercialization at N.C. A&T State University.
Early in his career, Higgs was executive assistant to the president of the N.C. Community College System
Higgs is a graduate of the University of South Alabama who earned a graduate degree in public administration from East Carolina University in 1999.
Higgs recently was elected vice chair of the N.C. State Board of Community Colleges. He chairs the search committee seeking a new president of the state community college system.
— Steve Tuttle