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FUSE Executive Fellow - Atlanta Urban Resilience

Fuse Corps

Fuse Corps

Atlanta Metropolitan Area, GA, USA
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2024

The City of Atlanta aims to become the best city in the country to raise a child. To achieve this goal, the City needs to become more resilient by ensuring that individuals, families, and communities are better prepared to withstand both chronic stresses and unanticipated shocks. The FUSE Executive Fellow will design and implement an equity-based framework to advance urban resilience across city departments and policies. The Fellow will use the framework to advance the Mayor’s priority initiatives while forging values-driven, cross-sector partnerships.

Fellowship Dates: April 22, 2024 – April 21, 2025

Salary: Executive Fellows are FUSE employees and receive an annual base salary of $80,000. Fellows can also access various health, dental, and vision insurance benefits. Compensation for this year of public service is not intended to represent market-rate compensation for the experienced professionals in our program.

ABOUT THE FUSE EXECUTIVE FELLOWSHIP

FUSE Corps is a national nonprofit working to expand social and economic opportunities, particularly for communities that have been limited by a history of systemic and institutionalized racism. FUSE partners with local governments and communities to more effectively address pressing challenges by placing experienced professionals within city and county agencies. These FUSE Executive Fellows lead strategic projects designed to advance racial equity and accelerate systems change. Since 2012, FUSE has led over 250 projects in 40 governments across 20 states, impacting the lives of 25 million people.

Executive Fellows are hired as FUSE employees and embedded in government agencies for at least one year of full-time work. FUSE Executive Fellows bring diverse perspectives and new approaches to their projects. They build strong relationships with diverse arrays of stakeholders, foster alignment within and across various layers of government, and build partnerships between governments and communities.

PROJECT CONTEXT

Mayor Andre Dickens has declared a bold goal – to make Atlanta the best place in the country to raise a child. To achieve this goal, the administration understands the imperative of serving young people, their families, and their communities more directly and immediately. This entails removing barriers for youth and their families, adopting two-generation development strategies, and enhancing access to high-quality programs and services. Furthermore, the administration acknowledges the necessity of transforming the environments in which young people and their families reside.

Atlanta is ranked as the second most segregated city in the United States. It also grapples with the largest wealth gap in the country, with the median wealth for White families being $238,000 and that number for Black families being 46 times lower at only $5,000. Across various issues such as crime, education, housing, workforce development, health, and economic mobility, the most concerning outcomes are deeply rooted in racially segregated neighborhoods characterized by concentrated poverty. Generations of public policies and private actions have perpetuated racial divisions, resulting in generations of children growing up in neighborhoods with no discernible path to happy, healthy, and productive lives.

Mayor Dickens established a new Office of the Chief Policy Officer to address these longstanding equity challenges. This Office leads transformative, large-scale mayoral initiatives. It uses public-private-philanthropic partnerships to make substantial investments in areas such as affordable housing, education, youth development, health, neighborhood empowerment and community engagement, revitalization, greenspaces, transit, and economic development, community safety, and urban resilience.

Atlanta has a long history of work in the areas of equity, sustainability, and urban resilience. In 2017, the City introduced its inaugural resilience strategy, which defined resilience as “the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses, and systems within a city to survive, adapt, and thrive no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience.” This strategy centered on structural racism, promoting equitable housing, supporting youth development, and tackling climate change while emphasizing that resilience resides at the intersection of equity and sustainability.

The City of Atlanta will partner with FUSE to enhance the City government's capacity to embed urban resilience across its policies and programs. The FUSE Executive Fellow will develop an urban resilience framework to ensure that Atlanta's approach is equitable, systematic, and impactful. The Fellow will work to implement this framework by advancing the Mayor's priority initiatives and establishing partnerships that facilitate resilience at all levels.

PROJECT SUMMARY & POTENTIAL DELIVERABLES

Starting in April 2024, the FUSE Executive Fellow will cultivate strong relationships with various internal and external stakeholders, leaders in philanthropy and nonprofits, civic and neighborhood leadership, and members of the general public, particularly focusing on historically underinvested neighborhoods. The Fellow will conduct a listening tour to gain insights into these partners' strengths, needs, opportunities, and aspirations regarding urban resilience in Atlanta. Simultaneously, the Executive Fellow will conduct reviews to identify best practices and innovative approaches in making urban resilience a standard aspect of cross-functional local government operations in cities similar to Atlanta.

Subsequently, the Executive Fellow will develop and apply a framework to integrate urban resilience into the mayoral initiatives led by the Office of the Chief Policy Officer. The framework will outline the key offices and functions responsible for reinforcing urban resilience at the levels of neighborhoods, communities, partnerships, and systems. It should encompass the identification of crucial stakeholders and the delineation of their roles, as well as the identification of policies and resources that support the city's resilience, along with an analysis of the policy and resource gaps requiring attention. This framework will promote organized, coherent, and impactful cross-sectoral urban resilience within the City’s initiatives.

The Executive Fellow will apply the framework to establish values-driven partnerships on behalf of the City. These partnerships will advance the mayor's priorities while also fostering grassroots resilience. This approach will equip the City with the necessary practices to consistently incorporate resilience principles into future partnerships. While prioritizing the specific initiatives on which the Fellow concentrates will be made in real-time based on prevailing circumstances and needs, the Fellow will dedicate their efforts to fostering cross-sector partnerships and collective actions that effectively and sustainably promote equity through resilience.

By April 2025, the FUSE Executive Fellow will have overseen the following:

  • Conduct a Stakeholder Listening Tour – Develop relationships with stakeholders in Atlanta government, community groups, and members of the public. In addition, conduct a literature review of resilience and local government management practices that have been effective in cities similar to Atlanta.
  • Develop a Resilience Framework and Playbook – Created a resilience framework and playbook that promotes comprehensive, intentional, cross-departmental collaborations.
  • Apply the Framework – Promote uptake of the resilience framework by applying it to the mayor’s priorities with a place-based approach.
  • Develop Partnerships – Encourage the adoption of the resilience framework by using it to forge values-driven, grassroots partnerships.

KEY STAKEHOLDERS

  • Executive Sponsor – Courtney English, Chief Policy Officer and Senior Advisor to the Mayor
  • Project Supervisor – Megan Sparks, Senior Advisor to the Mayor, Strategic Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives, Office of the Mayor
  • Katie Ward, Director, Strategic Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives, Office of the Mayor
  • Josh Humphries, Senior Advisor to the Mayor, Housing
  • Janean Lewis, Senior Advisor to the Mayor, Youth Development and Education
  • David Edwards, Senior Advisor to the Mayor, Neighborhood Revitalization
  • Dr. Jodi Merriday, Neighborhood Ombudsman
  • Chandra Farley, Chief Sustainability Officer
  • Candace Stanciel, Chief Equity Officer

QUALIFICATIONS

In addition to the qualifications listed below, a background in racial equity, strategic partnerships, place-based development, systems thinking and organizational change is strongly preferred for this project.

  • Synthesizes complex information into clear and concise recommendations and action-oriented implementation plans.
  • Develops and effectively implements both strategic and operational project management plans.
  • Generates innovative, data-driven, and result-oriented solutions to difficult challenges.
  • Responds quickly to changing ideas, responsibilities, expectations, trends, strategies and other processes.
  • Communicates effectively both verbally and in writing, and excels in both active listening and conversing.
  • Fosters collaboration across multiple constituencies in order to support more effective decision making.
  • Establishes and maintains strong relationships with a diverse array of stakeholders, both inside and outside of government, and particularly including community-based relationships.
  • Embraces differing viewpoints and implements strategies to find common ground.
  • Demonstrates confidence and professional diplomacy, while effectively interacting with individuals at all levels of various organizations.