Honolulu’s Chief Resilience Officer


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Thursday, April 13, 2017


Mayor Caldwell, in partnership with 100 Resilient Cities, appoints Joshua W. Stanbro to be Honolulu’s first Chief Resilience Officer

Stanbro will lead island-wide efforts to build holistic resilience to the social, physical and economic challenges that are an increasing part of the 21st century

100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation – is dedicated to building resilience in cities around the world; Honolulu is a founding member of $164M effort

 HONOLULU — Mayor Kirk Caldwell has appointed Joshua W. Stanbro to be Honolulu’s first Chief Resilience Officer. Stanbro will lead city and county-wide resilience building efforts to help O‘ahu prepare for, withstand, and bounce back from the ‘shocks’ – catastrophic events like hurricanes, fires, and floods – and ‘stresses’ – slow-moving disasters like water shortages, homelessness, and unemployment, which are increasingly part of 21st century life.

As Chief Resilience Officer, Stanbro will serve as part of Mayor Caldwell’s cabinet and oversee the development and implementation of a comprehensive Resilience Strategy for the city. He will also lead the new Office of Climate Change, Sustainability, and Resiliency, created by voters who approved a charter amendment in November 2016.

“Josh’s extensive knowledge of environmental issues, infrastructure, cultural land preservation, and community issues at federal, state, and city levels ensures he will be an effective advocate on issues surrounding climate change, resilience, and sustainability here on O‘ahu,” said Mayor Caldwell.

Appointing a Chief Resilience Officer is an essential element of Honolulu’s resilience building partnership with 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation. The 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) organization is part of a $164M commitment by The Rockefeller Foundation to build urban resilience in 100 cities around the world. The position will be fully funded by 100RC for two years.

“I’m honored to lead this new Office and looking forward to working with Mayor Caldwell, the Honolulu City Council, and our communities to make O‘ahu stronger and safer,” said Stanbro. “I’m also proud that Honolulu was selected to be part of the 100 Resilient Cities initiative and that our voters overwhelmingly approved tackling head-on the tough climate change issues that threaten an island community. This is the right time for local governments to take a leadership role.”

Honolulu’s resilience initiative includes a unique focus on coastal and economic challenges in a city increasingly affected by climate change impacts and infrastructure issues, along with a clear eye toward other potential shocks the island may be exposed to. Disparities in access to housing and exposure to natural hazards threaten community cohesion and weaken Honolulu’s overall resilience. Stanbro will therefore be charged with fostering an island-wide dialogue about the most pressing vulnerabilities, helping the city to unite and build the collective capacity for change. O‘ahu voters clearly recognized these threats when they voted to establish an office dedicated to addressing these issues and focusing on fostering sustainability.

Hawai‘i Community Foundation CEO Kelvin Taketa lauded Stanbro’s work for the organization.

“For the past eight years, the Hawai‘i Community Foundation has been fortunate to have Josh Stanbro lead our environmental and sustainability programs,” said Taketa. “During his tenure, Josh has been an established thought leader for sustainability and an important collaborator for Hawai‘i’s nonprofit community. His commitment to bridge-building and collaboration make him an outstanding choice to lead the city’s new Office of Climate Change, Sustainability, and Resiliency. At HCF, we are proud of Josh’s many accomplishments and look forward to partnering with him, along with the Mayor and the city, to achieve greater change and make Honolulu a more resilient place for all of us.”

The Chief Resilience Officer is an innovative feature of 100RC’s resilience building program. Stanbro will work within city government to break down existing barriers at the local level, account for pre-existing resilience plans, and create partnerships, alliances and financing mechanisms that will address the resilience vulnerabilities of all city residents, particularly among low-income and vulnerable populations.

“Josh Stanbro joins a network of peers from cities across the globe that will share best practices and surface innovative thinking,” said Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities. “Stanbro will become a global leader in resilience, and will be an asset for Honolulu and other cities around the world.”

Stanbro will receive personnel and technical support provided by 100RC; and utilize resilience building tools from 100RC’s Platform Partners in the private, public, academic, and NGO sectors.

About Joshua W. Stanbro

Josh Stanbro brings a wealth of sustainability experience and a track record of developing partnerships to his new role within the administration. He has served as a  Program Director for the Hawai‘i Community Foundation since 2009, where he led the Hawai‘i Fresh Water Initiative and the Community Restoration Partnership. He previously served as Project Manager for The Trust for Public Land-Hawai‘i, where he completed the acquisition of over 25,000 acres of land for preservation in perpetuity. He has worked in various roles with Envision Hawai‘i, the Coastal/Estuarine Land Conservation Planning Advisory Group, the South Kona-Ka‘u Coastal Conservation Task Force,  and the Hawai’i Forest Stewardship Committee. Stanbro earned a BA from Claremont McKenna College and his Juris Doctor from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley. He spent a visiting semester at the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa where he earned a Cali Award in Native Hawaiian Rights.

About 100 Resilient Cities—Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation 

100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) helps cities around the world become more resilient to social, economic, and physical challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC provides this assistance through: funding for a Chief Resilience Officer in each of our cities who will lead the resilience efforts; resources for drafting a resilience strategy; access to private sector, public sector, academic, and NGO resilience tools; and membership in a global network of peer cities to share best practices and challenges. For more information, visit: www.100ResilientCities.org.

High resolution headshot: https://bit.ly/stanbro


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