Kevin Byrne, President and Chief Operating Officer

Kevin  Byrne

Mr. Byrne is currently the President 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.  TUFF is a blend of real estate, capital markets, investment banking, and public finance with the primary focus to create facilities for institutions which can use those facilities to expand programming at the institution. 


Mr. Byrne is a 1991 Honors graduate from Furman University, where he currently serves on the Board of Trustees.  He majored in Accounting and was awarded the Wall Street Journal Student Achievement Award in 1991, the highest honor 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.


Mr. Byrne is a Certified Public Accountant and spent his early career in the tax division of Arthur Andersen.  He quickly rose at Andersen with primary focus in the real estate and financial services industries.  He was appointed to several Andersen specialty teams and developed several of the real estate structuring techniques used by real estate entities today. He was a frequent speaker internally and externally and served all the premier real estate companies and financial institutions in the Southeast.


Prior to TUFF, Kevin founded Byrne & Associates which focused on providing investment banking services to small and middle market companies and served a real estate development firm.


Through the growth of operations at TUFF, Kevin has 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 has emerged as 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. 


He previously served as the President of the Association of University Research Parks (AURP) in both 2012 and 2014.  He was appointed by Georgia Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle to the Georgia Public Private Partnership Guidelines commission.  He also serves on two Brookings Institution advisory committees – the Innovation District initiative and the Bass Placemaking initiative.


He is Chairman of the Board of Young Life for Metro Atlanta, an Eagle Scout and member of the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Area Council Boy Scouts of America, Chair of the Whitefield Academy Capital Campaign, and little league baseball coach for his son.