Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin is currently the Chairman of the Board and CEO of Purpose Built Communities, and the Barbara Jordan Visiting Professor in Ethics and Political Values in the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.
After Franklin left office in 2010, she was appointed to the William and Camille Cosby Endowed Chair at Spelman College and served until June 2011. She was elected the first African American woman mayor of a major southern city in 2002 and served two-terms until 2009. The mayor is term limited in Atlanta.
During her eight years, the city experienced unprecedented growth and afforded Franklin the opportunity to partner and collaborate with many local and regional leaders in addressing policy challenges, which included urban planning, economic development and infrastructure.
She is best known for advocating for and tackling major government operations and ethics reform, launching the Atlanta Beltline, planning and executing over $5 billion in airport and water infrastructure improvements, leading the acquisition of the Morehouse College Collection of Martin Luther King Jr. Papers, launching the Regional Commission on Homelessness and developing successful business and public sector partnerships and alliances.
Aside from her role as a public official, her community service spans nearly 40 years in Atlanta and includes her active participation in the arts, homelessness and higher education.
She is President of Clarke-Franklin and Associates, Inc., a general management consulting practice, partner in Urban Environmental Solutions (UES), an infrastructure and transportation firm and founder of the political blog, Blogging While Blue. She co-chairs the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta’s Regional Commission on Homelessness, serves as the Chair of the National Center of Civil and Human Rights, and on the board of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s 2013 Commission to Build a Healthier America. Franklin also serves on the Board of Directors of Mueller Water Products, Delta Air Lines and The Volcker Alliance.
She is a contributor to several books including, Leaders on Ethics, Real-World Perspectives on Today’s Business Challenges, Principles for a Successful Life, Megaregions-Planning for Global Competiveness, and Investing in What Works for America’s Communities.
Franklin is a frequent speaker on leadership, public policy and community engagement having served over three decades as an executive in government and business.