The Office of Resilience was established to build DC’s resilience to shocks and stresses through the development and implementation of a comprehensive resilience strategy. This includes the ability to withstand any natural or man-made challenges that threaten our communities and tackle the social challenges that come with being a fast-growing city.
In 2016, Washington, DC was selected from more than 1,000 cities around the world to become part of the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) network, along with cities like Paris, New York, Bangkok, and Buenos Aires. As part of the 100RC network, the city receives technical and financial support to develop and implement a resilience strategy for handling natural and manmade challenges. DC’s resilience strategy will be a holistic, action-oriented plan to build partnerships and alliances as well as financing mechanisms, and will pay particular attention to meeting the needs of vulnerable populations.
100 Resilient Cities
100 Resilient Cities (100RC), pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation, helps cities around the world become more resilient to social, economic, and physical challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC provides this assistance through funding for a Chief Resilience Officer in each of their cities; resources for drafting a resilience strategy; access to private sector, public sector, academic, and NGO resilience tools; and membership in a global network of peer cities to share best practices and challenges. Find more information here.
Kevin J. Bush, Chief Resilience Officer
As DC’s first Chief Resilience Officer, Bush leads citywide efforts to build resilience to shocks and stresses and oversee the development and implementation of a comprehensive Resilience Strategy. Bush has extensive experience building coalitions to design and execute award-winning resilience initiatives, including: Rebuild by Design, the National Disaster Resilience Competition, and the Multifamily Better Buildings Challenge. He previously led efforts at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to plan for the impact of climate change. Bush also served on President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force and at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. He has also been both a Presidential Management Fellow and City of Chicago Mayoral Fellow. Bush is a widely recognized expert in urban resilience, climate change mitigation and adaptation, disaster recovery, affordable housing, and infrastructure. Bush holds a Masters of Urban Planning from the University of Michigan and a Bachelors of Arts in Business from Michigan State University.
Harrison Newton, Deputy Chief Resilience Officer
Harrison Newton helped lead the development of the District’s application to the 100 Resilient Cities network and has a strong history of developing programs that work across boundaries to make residents more resilient. Prior to becoming the Deputy Chief Resilience Officer, he led efforts to modernize and develop strategic priorities for programs that help thousands of DC residents control their energy costs. He also served as chief of an environmental health-focused branch, creating the award-winning “Partnership for Healthy Homes.” The Partnership improves the condition of hundreds of DC residents’ homes every year by linking healthcare providers, legal support organizations and social service networks to innovative approaches in hazard remediation. Earlier in his career in public service, Newton directed a suite of public health programs in multiple cities along the East Coast, focusing on protecting at-risk populations and preparing clinics for disaster response. Newton holds a Masters of Public Health form Drexel University.