Kansas City is conducting due diligence related to human rights in preparation for the upcoming 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup tournament. As the city works to protects civil, political, social, economic, environmental, climate, and cultural rights, the FUSE Executive Fellow will help support the city’s new Human Rights Advisory Council. By assessing and addressing the issues that may arise from hosting the tournament, Kansas City can make changes that will have a positive and lasting impact on human rights throughout all of its communities.
Fellowship Dates: October 23, 2023 – October 21, 2024
Salary: Executive Fellows are FUSE employees and receive an annual base salary of $80,000. Fellows can also access various health, dental, and vision insurance benefits. Compensation for this year of public service is not intended to represent market-rate compensation for the experienced professionals in our program.
ABOUT THE FUSE EXECUTIVE FELLOWSHIP
FUSE is a national nonprofit working to expand social and economic opportunities, particularly for communities that have been limited by a history of systemic and institutionalized racism. FUSE partners with local governments and communities to more effectively address pressing challenges by placing experienced professionals within city and county agencies. These FUSE Executive Fellows lead strategic projects designed to advance racial equity and accelerate systems change. Since 2012, FUSE has led over 250 projects in 40 governments across 20 states, impacting the lives of 25 million people.
When designing each fellowship project, FUSE works closely with government partners and local stakeholders to define a scope of work that will achieve substantive progress toward regional priorities. FUSE then conducts an individualized search for each project to ensure that the selected candidate has at least 15 years of professional experience, the required competencies for the role, and deep connections to the communities being served. They are data-driven and results-oriented and can effectively manage complex projects by developing actionable roadmaps and monitoring progress to completion.
Executive Fellows are hired as FUSE employees and embedded in government agencies for at least one year of full-time work. They receive training, coaching, and professional support from FUSE throughout their fellowships to help achieve their project goals. FUSE Executive Fellows bring diverse perspectives and new approaches to their projects. They build strong relationships with diverse arrays of stakeholders, foster alignment within and across various layers of government, and build partnerships between governments and communities.
For any city hosting FIFA World Cup games, the tournament is an opportunity to assess and address a range of potential human rights issues that may affect individuals, groups, and communities. As part of its preparations for the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup, Kansas City is establishing a new Human Rights Advisory Council. The Council’s role will be to engage community members and stakeholders, offer strategic advice, and guide city and FIFA officials in safeguarding civil, political, social, economic, environmental, and cultural rights.
These considerations may involve matters leading up to the tournament, during the games, and in the years following. This is an opportunity for the city to reflect broadly on human rights, including issues related to racial inequities, immigrant rights, environmental justice issues, and resilience to the impacts of climate change. These factors may be apparent in areas such as workforce opportunities and working conditions related to the tournament; the housing and health needs of those involved in preparations, visitors who will come to the city for the games, and long-term residents; or the ways in which the city is planning for the potential of extreme heat and extreme weather events in the years leading up to the World Cup and in the year following.
Kansas City will partner with FUSE to help support the KC2026 Human Rights Advisory Council in building and implementing a strategic framework for engaging with relevant stakeholders to gain a deeper understanding of human rights issues potentially impacted by the tournament and to help inform the responses or partnerships that can be developed to ensure these issues are effectively addressed.
The FUSE Executive Fellow will: conduct a listening tour and landscape analysis to identify and understand stakeholder needs and concerns, facilitate community engagement and liaise with stakeholders, and develop strategic recommendations and action plans. This will help maximize Kansas City’s World Cup events’ potential to have lasting positive impacts on the community, thereby improving the lives of its residents.
PROJECT SUMMARY & POTENTIAL DELIVERABLES
The following provides a general overview of the proposed fellowship project. This project summary and the potential deliverables will be collaboratively revisited by the host agency, the fellow, and FUSE staff during the first few months of the fellowship.
Beginning in October 2023, the FUSE Executive Fellow will help the KC2026 World Cup Human Rights Advisory Council assess the human rights challenges and opportunities that may arise from hosting the tournament and develop measures to prevent these issues from occurring. The Executive Fellow will serve as a liaison between FIFA, the City of Kansas City, the Human Rights Advisory Council, and the Executive Director of KC2026. Ultimately, this will help support Kansas City’s goal to create ownership and excitement by communities and groups affected by the event, thereby contributing to a positive overall hosting experience and strengthening the city in the process.
The Executive Fellow will begin by conducting a landscape analysis to explore potential human rights issues that may be caused or exacerbated by hosting the World Cup events, understand specific risk areas, and identify potential preliminary mitigation measures. In addition to risks identified by FIFA, they will identify additional strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities specific to Kansas City. This will include considering factors such as safety and security, workers’ rights, transportation, housing, environmental factors, and the impacts of climate change on heat, weather, and infrastructure. The Executive Fellow will also research similar strategies from across the world deemed successful for other large sporting events to determine best practice models for implementation.
The Executive Fellow will facilitate engagement and discussion between relevant stakeholders to conduct a listening tour with community residents and city/host agencies. Importantly, this work will focus on lower-income populations, communities of color, and potentially vulnerable individuals. Efforts to engage community members in designing policies and decisions that could directly impact their wellbeing should help promote mutual learning and trust. This work will foster collaborative projects to tackle difficult issues that may emerge in the preparation and hosting of the event.
The Executive Fellow will use the collected information and community insights to design and begin implementing a KC2026 Human Rights Strategic Plan. This will include identifying activities that will support the Council in developing a comprehensive mitigation plan to reduce the potential negative impacts of hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup and support the development of an impactful Legacy Project that ensures continued focus on protecting human rights after the tournament.
By September 2024, the Executive Fellow will have overseen the following:
- Conduct a landscape analysis and listening tour – Conduct research and engage with all relevant stakeholders and community members to better understand their perspectives, priorities, and concerns with regard to human rights issues and opportunities that may arise during the 2026 World Cup. Research other successful human rights strategic plans for similar sporting events locally and throughout the country and the world.
- Engage with community, city, and event stakeholders – Facilitate engagement with relevant stakeholders to help clarify, address, and provide solutions to any challenges identified during the landscape analysis and listening tour.
- Design Strategic Recommendations – Develop a strategic plan to help inform the responses or partnerships that can be developed to ensure human rights issues are effectively addressed during the preparation and hosting of the tournament.
- Project Supervisor – Morgan Said, Chief of Staff, Mayor’s Office, Kansas City, MO
- Executive Sponsor – Quinton Lucas, Mayor, Kansas City, MO
In addition to the qualifications listed below, a background in stakeholder engagement, facilitation, and communications strategies is strongly preferred for this project.
- Synthesizes complex information into clear and concise recommendations and action-oriented implementation plans.
- Develops and effectively implements both strategic and operational project management plans.
- Generates innovative, data-driven, and result-oriented solutions to difficult challenges.
- Responds quickly to changing ideas, responsibilities, expectations, trends, strategies, and other processes.
- Communicates effectively verbally and in writing and excels in active listening and conversing.
- Fosters collaboration across multiple constituencies in order to support more effective decision-making.
- Establishes and maintains strong relationships with diverse stakeholders inside and outside of government, particularly community-based relationships.
- Embraces differing viewpoints and implements strategies to find common ground.
- Demonstrates confidence and professional diplomacy while effectively interacting with individuals at all levels of various organizations.
FUSE is an equal opportunity employer with core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply for this position.