The Challenges Chief Resilience Officers Face

This Next City piece talks to five Chief Resilience Officers – a new position created by and funded through the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities initiative.

The question for these CROs? What’s your biggest challenge?

Patrick Otellini, San Francisco’s CRO, says it’s honing in on specific objectives.

“Resiliency is such a buzzword. You can say anything is resiliency. If I could talk creatively enough about a pothole replacement program, I could say that’s an effort in resiliency,” Otellini told Next City. “I think the challenge that all of [us] face is if you don’t develop a narrow focus and try to whittle down the giant scope that is the big picture of resiliency into some real action items, a lot of CROs are going to be paralyzed for two years.”

Another challenge is combining datasets.

Oakland CRO Victoria Salinas told Next City, “It’s easier to have a map of every parcel and what buildings are there. It’s much harder to then get to the stage of knowing precisely what risks the buildings are exposed to, how they’re going to be affected and then of course the people in them.”

Then there’s the challenge of being a “conduit” – as Otellini puts it.

“It’s not my job as a CRO to be a subject matter expert on everything that resiliency touches, but it is my job to be a conduit to make sure we’re connecting the experts from both public and private sector to get them talking, and also within our city family to break down these silos,” Otellini told Next City.

Engaging the public is another challenge that all five CROs interviewed for the article said was important.


For some recent news from the 100 Resilient Cities group, check out this piece: Five Lessons from the World’s First Chief Resilience Officer Summit.
For the original Next City article, click here:
For more information on the Rockefeller 100 Resilient Cities campaign, click here: