For Immediate Release
December 8, 2021

Rodney Braxton
Chairman, BBR Board of Commissioners

Build Baton Rouge Announces Departure of CEO Christopher Tyson
Christopher Tyson Returns to LSU Law

The Build Baton Rouge Board of Commissioners announces the departure of its Chief Executive Officer, Christopher Tyson. For the past four years Tyson has served as CEO on academic leave from his professorship at the LSU Law Center, which expires December 31, 2021. Tyson will rejoin the faculty full-time effective January 2022. We are thankful for his transformative leadership and wish him well in his future endeavors.

Since taking the helm of the former East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority, Tyson has led a sustained and robust period of expansion under a bold vision for equitable urban development. Tyson led our evolution to Build Baton Rouge, including the restatement of our mission and focus, and launched initiatives that have been profiled in local and national media as well as numerous symposiums and forums. Build Baton Rouge has established local, national, and international partnerships that have produced exciting collaborations that will continue to impact Baton Rouge for years to come.

Most notably, under Tyson’s leadership Build Baton Rouge led and was a critical partner on the $50 million Bus Rapid Transit project, the development of the award-winning Plank Road Masterplan and its many projects, the $30 million HUD Choice Neighborhoods grant for the Ardendale development, the $5 million JP Morgan Chase Advancing Cities award, the creation of a North Baton Rouge-focused small business loan fund, and the establishment of Baton Rouge’s first Community Land Trust. The agency has acquired and/or cleared title to over 20 acres of vacant and blighted urban property and prepared them for redevelopment plans currently underway. Build Baton Rouge also administered over $20 million in HUD Community Development grants through its partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Community Development. The partnership fulfilled Mayor Broome’s goal of restoring the program to full HUD compliance and has resulted in repairs to over 200 homes.

“In just four years Chris grew our agency into a 21st century vehicle for equitable and transformative community development. We’re proud of all that has been accomplished and the foundation that has been established. We are committed to continuing this vision and working with the many partners who have invested in our success,” said Rodney Braxton, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners.

“I made a commitment to bring real opportunity to North Baton Rouge and all of our city’s disinvested neighborhoods. I invested in Build Baton Rouge to drive that commitment forward, and the return on that investment is incomparable. Chris has been a trusted advisor and a dynamic leader. We will see the fruits of his labor for years to come and I am forever grateful for his service,” said Mayor Broome.

Build Baton Rouge Chief Operating Officer, Tara Titone, will become the Interim CEO in January 2022.

Build Baton Rouge’s mission is to bring people and resources together to promote equitable investment, innovative development, and thriving communities across all of Baton Rouge. Over the past decade, BBR has worked with local, statewide, and national partners to catalyze transformative, equitable development in Baton Rouge’s most disinvested neighborhoods. The agency has raised, leveraged, and deployed over $100 million in funding that has resulted in the expansion of transit-oriented development, affordable housing, and small business lending. BBR’s recent successes include the establishment of the Baton Rouge’s first Community Land Trust, the award of $5 million from the JP Morgan Chase AdvancingCities challenge for BBR’s award-winning Plank Road Masterplan, the award of $15 million to support Bus Rapid Transit through a partnership with the Capital Area Transit Authority, and the award of $30 million HUD Choice Neighborhoods grant for housing through a partnership with the East Baton Rouge Parish Housing Authority.