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New Orleans Chief Resilience Officer Jeff Hebert Profiled in Huffington Post

Jeff-Hebert(Huffington Post) – The position of Chief Resilience Officer (CRO) in Urban America has only been in existence for little more than a year, but already there are at least 14 CROs in the United States thanks to an ongoing grant from the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Program.

And what is a CRO, exactly? He or she is a top-level advisor that reports directly to the city mayor, and is tasked with establishing a compelling resilience vision for his or her city, working across departments and with the local community to maximize innovation and minimize the impact of unforeseen events on anything involving city operations, from budgets to buildings.

We wanted to speak to one of the first CROs in the country – Jeff Hebert of New Orleans – to find out what his first year in office was like. On January 24, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded New Orleans $141.2 million from the National Disaster Resilience Competition. The award is the second largest among the 13 total awardees, making nearly $1 billion available to states and counties/parishes to fix damage from presidentially declared disasters in 2011, 2012, or 2013.

A graduate of MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning, Hebert has been on the job since November 2014. Here’s our edited discussion:

Q: As one of the first – if not THE first – CROs in the country, you have a unique vantage point. During the first year, what were your major challenges? What did you learn that other CROs might benefit from across the country?

Read the full story here.

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