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Shirley Franklin      

Executive Board Chair of Purpose Built Communities; Former Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia

Former two-term Mayor of Atlanta Shirley Franklin joined the LBJ School of Public Affairs as the Barbara Jordan Visiting Professor of Ethics and Political Values in 2013.

Franklin served as Mayor of the City of Atlanta from 2002 to 2010. She was the first female to hold the post and became the first African-American woman to be elected mayor of any major Southern city.

Her public service career began in 1978 when she served as the Commissioner of Cultural Affairs under Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson. She was later appointed as the nation's first woman Chief Administrative Officer or City Manager, where she was responsible for the daily operations of a city with nearly 8,000 employees. She was charged with guiding the development of Hartsfield International Airport, a new city hall, a new municipal court building and 14,000 net housing units.

In 1991, Franklin joined the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG) as the top ranking female executive, serving as senior vice-president for external relations. In this position she was instrumental in the development of the Centennial Olympic Park and served as ACOG’s primary liaison with labor unions, civil rights groups, neighborhood and community organizations, and environmentalists.

Franklin was named Governing magazine’s 2004 Public Official of the Year. In 2005, TIME magazine named her one of the top five mayors in the country and U.S. News and World Report named her one of “America’s Best Leaders”. Esquire Magazine named her one of the best and brightest and American City and County Magazine named her Municipal Leader of the Year. In 2005, Franklin received the prestigious John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. In 2006, she was honored with the Southern Institute for Business and Professional Ethics’ Ethics Advocate Award. In 2007, Newsweek Magazine named her one of the women to watch in their Women & Power issue.

Franklin also serves as the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Purpose Built Communities and as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

The Barbara Jordan Visiting Professorship is funded through the Barbara Jordan Chair in Ethics and Political Values, an endowment created in 1997 intended to promote training in ethics and values-based decision-making.

Barbara Jordan’s legislative career began with her election to the Texas Legislature in 1966. Jordan’s victory made her the first African-American woman to serve in the Texas Senate and the first African-American elected to that body since 1883. From 1979 until her death in 1996, Jordan served as a distinguished professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, holding the Lyndon B. Johnson Centennial Chair in National Policy.


Opinion: Housing affordability crisis goes well beyond homes - Atlanta
Shirley Franklin and Richard Besser. America's housing crisis is a tale of two neighborhoods. In Maddox Park, which is predominantly black, the average life ...
Former Atlanta Mayor Franklin wishes she'd done more for poor ...
Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin says she wishes she had done more when she was at the helm to address the lack of upward income mobility for Atlanta's ...
Former Atlanta Mayor: 'I Regret That I Didn't Do More ...
Shirley Franklin reflects on the difficulty of combating economic inequality when times are good and voters have other priorities.

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