The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas (UG) is partnering with FUSE to enhance climate resilience by assessing risks and vulnerabilities, developing a comprehensive climate plan that prioritizes environmental justice, and establishing accountability mechanisms to ensure progress.
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 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 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 the selected candidate has at least 15 years of professional experience, the required competencies, 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 FUSE training, coaching, and professional support throughout their fellowships to help them 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.
The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas (UG) is firmly committed to addressing climate risks and threats by developing and implementing a resilience plan that safeguards the residents of Kansas City, Kansas (KCK), as well as the built environment and infrastructure in the community.
Data procurement, systems creation, and infrastructure design and development are essential for this work. Recognizing the need for experience and support, the UG will partner with FUSE to tailor a regional plan specifically for KCK. This partnership will involve creating and launching a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) dashboard and developing the internal capacity to ensure the sustainability and expansion of climate resilience efforts.
The FUSE Executive Fellow will review the existing climate risk and vulnerability assessment, research successful program models, contribute to finalizing a climate resilience action plan, and serve as a liaison between the city, community stakeholders, consultants, and private partners during program implementation.
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 the FUSE staff during the first few months of the fellowship.
Starting in October 2023, the FUSE Executive Fellow will review the existing climate risk and vulnerability assessments and begin to develop a comprehensive climate resilience plan with actionable recommendations. This plan will include proposals for climate resilience-related policies, infrastructure, programs, and incentives with a significant focus on prioritizing historically marginalized and high-risk communities most affected by climate challenges.
The Executive Fellow will also conduct extensive research to identify successful climate resilience programs in other communities around the country so that best practices and lessons learned can be incorporated into the UG’s strategy.
The Executive Fellow will then begin the development of a data-driven dashboard, providing a long-term tracking mechanism to monitor progress. The dashboard will assess the impact of policies and strategies supporting the expansion of climate resilience activities in Wyandotte County, emphasizing enhancing accessibility and integrating climate crisis-focused improvements. By tracking the effectiveness of these policies, the UG can ensure their alignment with resilience and sustainability goals.
In addition, the Executive Fellow will establish clear frameworks and mechanisms that feed into the dashboard, enabling tracking of goals, programs, and policies resulting from the climate resilience plan. These frameworks will facilitate effective implementation and provide a systematic approach to measuring progress.
By October 2024, the Executive Fellow will have overseen the following:
- A thorough integration of the current climate risk and vulnerability assessment into an actionable plan – Reviewed the UG’s existing infrastructure and community needs and actions; engaged with relevant stakeholders, including departments and public agencies, staff members, private business, and community members to better understand their perspectives, priorities, and concerns about climate resilience; reviewed national, local, and global models for climate resilience to identify successful strategies that are scalable in Wyandotte County.
- Created an integrated, data-derived, impact-focused dashboard – Worked closely with stakeholders and designers to build and activate a tracking system for KPIs focused on tracking activities associated with climate resilience in Wyandotte County; conducted training for all related stakeholders for optimization of the new dashboard; held community-based conversations to discuss the importance of data to document the need and impact of climate resiliency; and created systems and protocols for maintenance of the climate resiliency dashboard.
- Executive Sponsor – David Johnston, County Administrator; Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas
- Project Supervisor – Gunnar Hand, AICP, Director of Planning and Urban Design; Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas
In addition to the qualifications listed below, a background in database creation and management and/or community engagement 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 complex 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. Bilingual Spanish speakers are optional but preferred.
- Fosters collaboration across multiple constituencies to support more effective decision-making.
- Establishes and maintains strong relationships with diverse stakeholders inside and outside of government, notably 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.