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In Partnership with 100 Resilient Cities, Mayor Durkan Appoints Katya Sienkiewicz as Seattle’s Chief Resilience Officer

Chief Resilience Officer Will Lead City-Wide Efforts to Build Holistic Resilience to the Social, Physical, and Economic Challenges of 21st Century

100 Resilient Cities, Pioneered by Rockefeller Foundation, Is Dedicated to Building Resilience in Cities around the World; Seattle is a Partner in the $164 Million Global Effort

Seattle (September 19) — Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced that Katya Sienkiewicz will serve as Chief Resilience Officer, a position which will lead City-wide resilience building efforts to help Seattle prepare for, withstand, and bounce back from the ‘shocks’ – catastrophic events like fires, floods and ‘stresses’ – slow-moving disasters like homelessness, air pollution, and unemployment, which are increasingly part of 21st century life. As Chief Resilience Officer, Ms. Sienkiewicz will oversee the development and implementation of a comprehensive Resilience Strategy for Seattle, with a special focus on meeting the needs of underserved populations.

“Her role as Chief Resilience Officer is critical to building a city of the future, and I look forward to working with Katya to make Seattle a more resilient and equitable place to live,” said Mayor Durkan.

“Seattle is an amazing city that’s at a watershed moment. The changes we have seen, the growth we have experienced, and the inequalities that persist in our city, pose a unique challenge to us all. Urban resilience is about preparing ourselves, as individuals and as a community, for these shocks like an earthquake, but also slow-burns like rising rents and rising inequity. I am thrilled to take on the role of the Chief Resilience Officer to spearhead the development of the Mayor’s strategic vision for a resilient Seattle, as well as to coordinate our philanthropic efforts to meet some of her most pressing critical policy priorities,” said Katya Sienkiewicz, Chief Resilience Officer.

Appointing a Chief Resilience Officer role is a key part of Seattle’s resilience building partnership with 100 Resilient Cities, pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. The 100 Resilient Cities organization is part of a $164 million commitment by The Rockefeller Foundation to build urban resilience in 100 cities around the world. Seattle’s engagement with 100 Resilient Cities kicked off in May of 2016 with a “Resilience Agenda-Setting Workshop,” and under Katya’s leadership, Seattle is poised to take the next step in its resilience planning. The position will be fully funded by 100 Resilient Cities.

The CRO is an innovative feature of 100 Resilient Cities resilience building program, specifically designed to break down existing barriers at the local level, account for pre-existing resilience plans, and create partnerships, alliance and financing mechanisms that will address the resilience vulnerabilities of all Seattle residents, with a particular focus on low-income and vulnerable populations.

“Katya 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. “Katya will become a global leader in resilience, and will be an asset for Seattle and other cities around the world.

Sienkiewicz will receive personnel and technical support provided by 100RC, and utilize resilience building tools from private, public, academic, and NGO sector organizations that have partnered with 100RC. Seattle’s resilience strategy will be an action-oriented blueprint to build partnerships and alliances, financing mechanisms, and will pay particular attention to meeting the needs of underserved populations.