Tawan W. Davis
Vice President, Real Estate Transactions
New York City Economic Development Corp.
New York City
Tawan W. Davis has appeared on MSNBC TV commenting on the U.S. economy and jobs. Newsweek magazine has compared his social, political and economic leadership potential to that of a young Bill Clinton. As vice president of real estate transactions for New York City Economic Development Corp., Davis is one of the youngest economic advisers in Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration. He analyzes productive and profitable uses for the city’s underutilized real estate assets. Since he assumed the position in 2011, he has negotiated, structured and executed real estate and infrastructure initiatives that will create more than 4,000 jobs and contribute up to $1 billion in proceeds to the city. Among other achievements, he repositioned a broad portfolio of Harlem sites, including the future home of a civil rights museum.
Born near Seattle, Wash., and raised in Oregon, Davis earned a bachelor’s degree in political economy from Georgetown University, a master’s in economics and sociology from Oxford University, England, and a master’s in business administration from Harvard Business School. In addition to his work for the city, he is an associate minister at Harlem’s Kelly Temple Church. “Growing up with a mostly single mother in a relatively low-income community, I found community and a safe space to develop, learn and grow in the church,” he says. Prior to his current position in the Bloomberg administration, he spent four years in the United States and Europe as a real estate private-equity investor for Prudential Investment Management, and two years as a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs.
Davis, who describes himself as “a bit of a teacher,” is committed to helping young people prepare for a promising future. In addition to being an adjunct professor in real estate, finance and economics at New York University, he serves on the advisory board of the New Horizon’s Children’s Advocacy Corp.