Chief resilience officers (CROs) have been a centerpiece of many cities’ efforts to become more resilient in the face of growing shocks and stressors, from rising inequality to the impacts of climate change. CROs are generally senior-level city officials who coordinate across government departments and city stakeholders to craft strategies and implement actions that build citywide resilience. In 2013, the Rockefeller Foundation launched the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) program, which established and funded the position in nearly 100 local governments across the world. As a collective, CROs represent a diverse group of professionals with varied backgrounds and skills. Even as the position has become increasingly popular, CROs often face specific challenges that can contribute to turnover or lack of buy-in for urban resilience-building plans. This brief draws from the data collected in the Urban Institute’s multiyear monitoring and evaluation of 100RC to describe the main characteristics of CROs, how they fit within city governments, and what resources and supports they need to be effective.
Lessons from 100 Resilient Cities