Headshot of Kevin Byrne

Kevin T. Byrne

Chief Executive Officer, The University Financing Foundation

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Mr. Byrne is a 1991 Honors graduate from Furman, where he majored in accounting.  He was awarded the Wall Street Journal Student Achievement Award in 1991, the highest honor to be given by the faculty to a student in the Economics and Business Administration department.  He later earned his MBA, with Honors, from the Wharton School of Business.

Kevin is currently the CEO of The University Financing Foundation (TUFF), a national 501(c)(3) private operating foundation whose mission is to assist institutions of education and research in obtaining facilities and equipment at below-market cost.  Over his 20-year career at TUFF, he has significantly grown the foundation’s operations and become nationally recognized in the areas of public-private partnerships, real estate financing structures, and the economic development initiatives surrounding university research parks and innovation districts.  TUFF is a leading resource for institutions of education and research relative to the creation of active innovation communities, in addition to real estate development and finance.

Mr. Byrne is a Certified Public Accountant and spent his early career in the tax division of Arthur Andersen where he quickly rose with a primary focus in the real estate and financial services industries.  Following Andersen, he founded Byrne & Associates which focused on providing investment banking services to small and middle market companies.

He has served in many federal, state, and local positions promoting technology-based economic development and innovation expansion.  In 2021, he was appointed by Georgia’s Lieutenant Governor to the Board of the Partnership for Inclusive Innovation, the mission of which is to ensure Georgia’s strength as the technology capital of the east coast.  He also serves on the advisory board for the Innovation and Research Park at Rosalind Franklin University.  He previously served as the President of the Association of University Research Parks (AURP) in both 2012 and 2014 and has served on two Brookings Institution advisory committees – the Innovation District initiative and the Bass Placemaking initiative.

He is a former Chairman of the Board of Young Life for Metro Atlanta, a member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta, an Eagle Scout and member of the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Area Council Boy Scouts of America, member of the Whitefield Academy Board of Trustees in Atlanta and chairs the school’s finance committee. In his spare time, he enjoys golf and visiting every major league baseball stadium with his wife and son.