The City of Jacksonville, FL, is working to develop climate-resilient infrastructure design standards that anticipate the impacts of climate change and incorporate measures to withstand and adapt to them, especially for historically disinvested communities. The FUSE Executive Fellow will help develop Climate Resilient Design Standards for the City’s Public Works Department, thereby helping ensure all of Jacksonville’s residents have equitable access to safe, reliable, and vibrant public spaces and transportation networks, now and in the future, even in the face of climate-related changes.
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 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 helps local governments and communities address pressing challenges more effectively 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.
When designing each fellowship project, FUSE works closely with local governments and local stakeholders to define a scope of work that will achieve substantive progress toward regional priorities. FUSE then conducts an individualized search for each project to ensure that the selected candidate has at least 15 years of professional experience, the required competencies for the role, and deep connections to the communities being served. They are data-driven and results-oriented and can effectively manage complex projects by developing actionable roadmaps and monitoring progress to completion.
Executive Fellows are hired as FUSE employees and placed in government agencies for approximately one year of full-time work. They receive FUSE training, coaching, and professional support throughout their fellowships to help them achieve their project goals. 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 help build partnerships between governments and communities.
Climate change continues to cause a range of impacts on cities across America, including rising temperatures, more frequent and intense extreme weather events, sea-level rise, and changing precipitation patterns. The City of Jacksonville, FL, is experiencing effects such as higher rainfall volumes and temperatures and more frequent coastal storms and high tide events, leading to strain on city infrastructure such as roads, power supplies, and buildings. Over the 21st century, the intensity and severity of these events and their impacts will increase, threatening Jacksonville’s communities. These effects are disproportionately felt by vulnerable communities, including low-income populations, marginalized groups, and areas prone to environmental injustice that often lack resources and infrastructure that can buffer against climate-related risks.
Jacksonville is working to develop climate-resilient infrastructure design standards that anticipate these impacts and incorporate measures to withstand and adapt to them, especially for historically disinvested communities. This will help ensure that infrastructure systems in Jacksonville can continue to function effectively and safely in a changing climate, minimizing disruptions and reducing the risks to people, property, and the environment.
Jacksonville will contract with FUSE to help identify resilient infrastructure design standards and develop a city-wide Climate Resilient Design Guidelines plan. The FUSE Executive Fellow will: conduct a listening tour and landscape analysis to identify and understand stakeholder needs and concerns and understand the city’s current design standards system, research national best practice models, and develop strategic recommendations for resilient infrastructure design guidelines. This will help enhance the resilience of Jacksonville’s communities, ensuring that services residents rely on, such as roads, parks, and utilities, are better designed to accommodate the higher volumes of rainfall and extreme temperature fluctuations brought on by climate change.
PROJECT SUMMARY & POTENTIAL DELIVERABLES
The following provides a general overview of the proposed fellowship project. This project summary and the potential deliverables will be collaboratively revisited by the host agency, the fellow, and FUSE staff during the first few months of the fellowship.
Beginning in April 2024, the FUSE Executive Fellow will work with the Public Works, Parks, and Planning Departments to help develop a consistent and uniform approach to climate-resilient infrastructure design for the City of Jacksonville. Ultimately, this will help support Jacksonville’s goal to standardize innovative, sustainable, and resilient design that ensures infrastructure projects across the City’s different communities and sectors adhere to a common set of guidelines and criteria that improve its resilience and ensure that every community in Jacksonville benefits equitably. In particular, these design guidelines will focus on how water management can be improved through innovative green infrastructure/landscape solutions, which can provide co-benefits such as cooling neighborhoods and improving water quality.
The Executive Fellow will begin by conducting a listening tour and landscape analysis to understand how the Public Works, Parks, and Planning Departments currently design and build infrastructure projects and identify potential areas where green infrastructure/landscaping solutions could benefit Jacksonville’s communities. This may include assessing current plans such as capital improvement, transportation infrastructure, public buildings, and park spaces. The Executive Fellow will place a particular emphasis on engaging with the engineering team, operations team, and the mowing and landscaping maintenance teams during this process. The Executive Fellow will also research successful similar guidelines from across the nation to determine best practice models for resilient design standards.
Using a basis of scientific knowledge, best practices, and the information and insights collected in the landscape analysis, the Executive Fellow will identify infrastructure design options that will help Jacksonville withstand and adapt to climate change-related risks. This will include determining where Jacksonville can incorporate resilient design aspects such as green infrastructure and passive design. Emphasis will be placed on developing design solutions that can be standardized for rapid deployment throughout the city.
The Executive Fellow will produce a Climate Resilient Design Guidelines document that can be used by both public and private sectors to build new projects in a compatible, sustainable manner. This document will provide guidance on robust design, material selection, construction techniques, and maintenance practices that enhance the resilience of infrastructure systems with the ultimate goal that Jacksonville’s infrastructure can better withstand and recover from climate-related hazards, reducing the need for costly repairs, replacements, and disruptions in the future.
As time allows, the Executive Fellow will begin implementing the guidelines, ensuring effective coordination, communication, and collaboration among stakeholders, including engineers, designers, policymakers, and regulators.
By September 2024, the Executive Fellow will have overseen the following:
- Conduct a landscape analysis and listening tour - Engage with all relevant stakeholders to better understand their perspectives, priorities, and current practices for infrastructure design, ensuring community needs, perspectives, and equity for historically disinvested/low-income communities are centered in all work; research other successful design models.
- Develop a Design Guidelines Document– Develop a document that can be used by both public and private developers to use resilient, sustainable, and innovative infrastructure design to help the City of Jacksonville adapt to climate change, protect vulnerable communities, preserve natural resources, enhance economic stability, and increase community resilience; support stakeholders to begin implementing the plan as time allows.
- Executive Sponsor – Anne Coglianese, Chief Resilience Officer
- Project Supervisor- Nina Sickler, Director of Public Works
In addition to the qualifications listed below, a background in urban planning, construction, engineering, and/or landscape architecture and design 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 verbally and in writing and excels in active listening and conversing.
- Fosters collaboration across multiple constituencies in order to support more effective decision-making.
- Establishes and maintains strong relationships with diverse stakeholders, both inside and outside of government, particularly 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.
FUSE is an equal-opportunity employer with diversity, equity, and inclusion core values. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply for this position.