Mason Ailstock


With extensive experience in innovation district planning, development and operations, Mason leads the firm’s growing Knowledge Economy Practice from Atlanta, GA.

Mason joins HR&A after serving as the Vice President of Operations at The University Financing Foundation (TUFF), a non-profit financing organization based in Atlanta, where he advised on a wide variety of local and international university projects managing assets in excess of $1.5 billion which include innovation districts such as Georgia Tech’s Tech Square in Midtown Atlanta and healthcare networks such as Northwell Health in Manhattan New York. Prior to TUFF, Mason was the Chief Operating Officer at the Research Triangle Park Foundation (RTP) and led the organization’s business development, marketing, real estate, and partnership efforts. Responsible for leading the convergence of higher education including three R1 universities, two community colleges, and a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), Mason championed the redevelopment of RTP as a multi-use innovation destination for the Triangle.

With an extensive international network, Mason traveled to Sweden and Saudi Arabia as an Eisenhower Fellow and studied the global evolution of innovation districts and the impacts of place-based design and public-private convergence on their success. Mason is the Past President of the Association of University Research Parks (AURP), Co-Chairman of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) University Development & Innovation Council, and member of the Atlanta ULI Center for Leadership.

Mason holds a BS in Architecture & Design and a Master’s of City & Regional Planning from Clemson University.

Former President and Current Board Member, Association of University Research Parks

Member, Urban Land Institute

Member, ULI University Development and Innovation Council

Member, Atlanta ULI Center for Leadership