Weeks after Minneapolis named its new leader to an effort to make the city more resilient to climate change and other long-term threats, the foundation that funded the position has announced it will discontinue the grant.
The Rockefeller Foundation said this week it will discontinue its "100 Resilient Cities" project, which started in 2013 as a global strategy to defend against physical, social and economic challenges.
Ron Harris, the city's new chief resilience officer, first saw the news on Twitter, which was disconcerting at first. But Harris said he's now optimistic the move won't derail his work. His $114,000 annual salary is funded through 2019 and part of 2020, he said, and the goal is to move the job to the city's general fund.
Harris said he will also still have access to a network of others working on similar projects around the world.
"The good news is none of that stuff goes away," Harris said.
In a statement, Michael Berkowitz, president of the project, said the Rockefeller Foundation will continue supporting resilient cities through other means and boasted about the work that the grants have backed over the past six years.
"While we know our work is far from complete, we're excited to see that our cities are making progress and that this global movement is gaining steam, changing institutions and planning processes in cities," said Berkowitz.
Harris started in his position Jan. 22, filling a spot left vacant by <URL destination="http://www.startribune.com/chief-resilience-officer-is-lesson-in-risk-management/474779133/">Kate Knuth, who resigned after seven months.
</URL>Harris previously worked for the city's Department of Civil Rights, City Council President Lisa Bender and the Minneapolis Department of Regulatory Services. He will focus on economic inequality, affordable housing and climate change.