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Ruth Dowling, executive vice president, CAO, general counsel, and secretary of American Tower Corporation (NYSE: AMT), participated in a video interview during Nareit’s REITwise: 2024 Law, Accounting & Finance Conference held March 19-21 in Hollywood, Fla.

Dowling's interview highlights the intersection of legal expertise, risk assessment, and DEI initiatives within American Tower. Reflecting on her transition from litigation to the REIT industry, Dowling emphasizes how her experience as a litigator has shaped her current role.

“Being a litigator, the skills that come with that are a great grounding for a general counsel role because really, the general counsel role is all about risk assessment," Dowling explained.

Dowling highlights the importance of risk assessment—a skillset ingrained in litigation—in navigating the legal landscape of the REIT industry. She credits this background for her ability to effectively assess and mitigate risks.

Additionally, Dowling discusses joining American Tower around the time it converted to a REIT. She acknowledges the complexities of REIT regulations and how her timing with American Tower's transition provided invaluable insights into the industry.

On the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, Dowling underscores American Tower's commitment to fostering diversity of thought. She notes the importance of reassessing diversity programs in light of changing legal landscapes, ensuring alignment with company values and goals.