Chairman of the Board and CEO, Purpose Built Communities
Shirley Franklin became the first African American woman mayor of a major Southern city when she was elected mayor of Atlanta in 2002, serving two terms until 2009. During her eight years, the city experienced unprecedented growth and afforded Franklin the opportunity to collaborate with many local and regional leaders in addressing urban policy challenges, including urban planning, economic development, and infrastructure. She is best known for advocating for and tackling major government operations and ethics reform and developing successful business and public sector partnerships and alliances. She currently serves as the chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer of Purpose Built Communities and president of Clarke-Franklin and Associates, Inc. She recently joined the faculty of the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas as a visiting professor.