Teresa Tomlinson ’87, chair of the Sweet Briar College Board of Directors and mayor of Columbus, Ga., has been named among the “100 Most Influential Georgians” for the fourth consecutive year.
“Tomlinson, in her second term, is leading an effort to thaw a property tax freeze in place for more than 30 years in Georgia’s second-largest city, which has seen much revitalization during her tenure,” according to Georgia Trend. “She is also championing a high-speed rail line connecting Columbus to Atlanta, is spearheading efforts to revitalize the southern portion of the city and is committed to ending homelessness in the city within 10 years.”
Tomlinson was elected as the 69th mayor of Columbus, Ga., on Nov. 30, 2010, with 68 percent of the vote. On Jan. 3, 2011, she was sworn in as the city’s first female mayor. On May 20, 2014, she was re-elected to a second term with 63 percent of the vote, making her the first mayor since the city’s consolidation in 1971 to win re-election in a contested race.
Tomlinson moved to Columbus in 1994 from Atlanta and married Wade H. “Trip” Tomlinson, who was raised in Columbus. For 16 years, she practiced with the law firm of Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison and Norwood LLC, where she specialized in complex litigation and was the firm’s first female partner. She served from 2006 to 2010 as executive director of MidTown Inc., a nonprofit community renewal organization.
Tomlinson is a 1983 graduate of Chamblee High School in Atlanta, a 1987 graduate of Sweet Briar and a 1991 graduate of Emory University School of Law in Atlanta. Before being elected to her alma mater’s board of directors, she served as commencement speaker for Sweet Briar’s graduation exercises on May 16, 2015.