Shirley Franklin, who served two terms as mayor of Atlanta, has joined the LBJ School of Public Affairs as the Barbara Jordan Visiting Professor in Ethics and Political Values. The LBJ School’s dean, Robert Hutchings, announced the appointment today.
In addition to her appointment, Franklin will serve as the keynote speaker for the 17th annual Barbara Jordan Forum, scheduled for Feb. 19. Prior to that, Franklin will introduce Andrew Young a former Atlanta mayor, congressman and U.N. ambassador at the second annual Tom Johnson Lectureship hosted by the LBJ Library on Jan. 31.
“We are so very pleased at this tremendous opportunity to learn directly from one of the nation’s most respected former mayors,” Hutchings said. “Franklin embodies the spirit, passion and dedication Barbara Jordan demonstrated throughout her inspiring career, and we are grateful that Franklin has chosen the LBJ School as her home.”
As a visiting professor, Franklin will teach in the areas of ethics and political values, city government, sustainable urban development and the role of women in politics. She will also participate in lectures and dialogues on important public issues and play a leading role in encouraging students from under-represented communities to choose careers in public service. Franklin will also be instrumental in the creation of a new urban management program at the school.
“I am privileged and honored to join the distinguished faculty at the LBJ School of Public Affairs,” said Franklin. “I have long admired the work and life of Barbara Jordan as a legislator, orator and courageous defender of justice and human rights. This opportunity allows me to work with students who will continue the legacy of service and leadership that Barbara Jordan inspired.”
Franklin served as mayor of Atlanta from 2002 to 2010. She was the first woman to hold the post and became the first African American woman to be elected mayor of a major city in the South.
Her public service career began in 1978 when she served as the commissioner of cultural affairs under Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson. She was later appointed city manager, becoming the first female chief administrative officer of a major U.S. city. As city manager, Franklin was responsible for nearly 8,000 city employees and guided the development of Hartsfield International Airport, a new city hall, a new municipal court building and thousands of housing units.
In 1991 Franklin joined the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG), serving as senior vice president for external relations. In this position she was instrumental in the development of the Centennial Olympic Park and served as ACOG’s primary liaison with labor unions, civil rights groups, neighborhood and community organizations, and environmentalists.
Franklin was named Governing magazine’s 2004 Public Official of the Year. In 2005, Time magazine named her one of the top five mayors in the country, and U.S. News and World Report named her one of America’s best leaders. Esquire magazine named her one of the best and brightest, and American City and County magazine named her Municipal Leader of the Year. In 2005 Franklin received the prestigious John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. In 2006 she was honored with the Southern Institute for Business and Professional Ethics’ Ethics Advocate Award. In 2007 Newsweek magazine named her one of the women to watch in their Women and Power issue.
The Barbara Jordan Visiting Professorship is funded through the Barbara Jordan Chair in Ethics and Political Values, an endowment created in 1997 to promote training in ethics and values-based decision-making.
Barbara Jordan’s legislative career began with her election to the Texas Legislature in 1966. Jordan’s victory made her the first African American woman to serve in the Texas Senate and the first African American elected to that body since 1883. From 1979 until her death in 1996, Jordan served as a distinguished professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, holding the Lyndon B. Johnson Centennial Chair in National Policy.