Michael S. Rawlings

Former Dallas Mayor and Partner of CIC Partners


Mike Rawlings was the 61st mayor of Dallas, and the longest-serving mayor in 57 years.  Serving eight years he focused on spurring economic development in the long-overlooked southern portion of Dallas through his GrowSouth initiative, improving public education, combatting poverty and domestic violence, developing parks, elevating the city’s international profile, and turning Dallas into a top destination for artists, young professionals, families, and corporations.

A Borger, Texas native and Boston College graduate, he came to Dallas in 1976 with a couple hundred dollars and worked his way up from an entry-level position at TracyLocke, then the largest advertising agency in the South, to become the CEO.  Later, he took the helm of the world’s largest pizza company, Pizza Hut, and grew it to record sales.  He previously served as Chairman and Managing Partner or private equity firm CIC Partners, which he helped start in 2004.

Mike Rawlings led the ninth-largest city in America when Dallas grew faster economically than any time in its history.  Growing property value over 60%.  The city’s labor force grew every year as well since Rawlings took office and unemployment fell to a historic level of 3.4% as of October 2018, bettering the national and state rate for four years.  The mayor’s GrowSouth initiative has led to major growth in southern Dallas of 60% in value during his tenure.

Mayor Rawlings won national and international awards.  In 2016, he was selected as a Vital Voices Global Partnership honoree for his work to eradicate domestic violence.  He was the 2017 recipient of the Joseph P. Riley Jr. Award for Leadership in Urban Design.  And in 2018, he received the National Award for Local Arts Leadership from Americans for the Arts and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.  He was an executive committee member for the U.S. Conference of Mayors and traveled the globe as a member of the DFW International Airport Board of Directors.

Both DFW Airport and Dallas Love Field airport grew rapidly and received major accolades under the mayor’s leadership.  In 2019, DFW Airport was named the world’s top airport by Air Transport World.  Also, this year, customer service at both DFW Airport and Dallas Love Field was recognized as among the best in North America by Airports Council International.

Public service has long been important to Mayor Rawlings.  In the years before his 2011 election as mayor, he served as the Chair of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau (VIsitDallas), the city’s Homeless Czar (winning the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness Award for Innovation) and the president of the Dallas Park Board.  Voters re-elected Mayor Rawlings by a wide margin in 2015 to his second and final four-year term.

He currently serves as CIC Partners Vice Chairman and invests in and counsels several small to mid-size companies that are in the CIC Partners portfolio.

Rawlings and his wife, Micki, live in Dallas.  Their daughter, Michelle, is an artist residing in Santa Fe and their son Gunnar, a construction company executive, and his wife also live in Dallas.