Global Conference 2015

Speaker's Biography

Shirley Franklin

CEO, Purpose Built Communities; Former Mayor, Atlanta


Shirley Franklin is the chairman and CEO of Purpose Built Communities and president of Clarke-Franklin and Associates, Inc. A former mayor of Atlanta, Franklin was the first African-American woman elected to lead a major Southern city. During her two terms, Franklin collaborated with local and regional leaders on urban planning, transportation and water infrastructure. She instituted ethics reform, launched the Atlanta Beltline housing and transportation project and led a $5 billion airport expansion. She also led the effort to create the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection, comprising notes, sermons and other original writings by the civil rights leader. Franklin is chairman of the National Center of Civil and Human Rights. She serves on the board of the United Way of Greater Atlanta and co-chairs its Regional Commission on Homelessness. Franklin also sits on the boards of Delta Airlines and Mueller Water Products. In 2013, she became a visiting professor at the University of Texas' Johnson School of Public Affairs.

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