Former Atlanta Mayor Joins the LBJ School as Barbara Jordan Visiting Professor


First African-American Female Mayor of a Southern City to Keynote 17th Annual Barbara Jordan Forum

AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 15, 2013 — Shirley Franklin, who served two terms as mayor of Atlanta, has joined the LBJ School of Public Affairs as the Barbara Jordan Visiting Professor in Ethics and Political Values. The LBJ School’s dean, Robert Hutchings, announced the appointment today.

In addition to her appointment, Franklin will serve as the keynote speaker for the 17th annual Barbara Jordan Forum, scheduled for Feb. 19. Prior to that, Franklin will introduce Andrew Young — a former Atlanta mayor, congressman and U.N. ambassador — at the second annual Tom Johnson Lectureship hosted by the LBJ Library on Jan. 31.

“We are so very pleased at this tremendous opportunity to learn directly from one of the nation’s most respected former mayors,” Hutchings said. “Franklin embodies the spirit, passion and dedication Barbara Jordan demonstrated throughout her inspiring career, and we are grateful that Franklin has chosen the LBJ School as her home.”

As a visiting professor, Franklin will teach in the areas of ethics and political values, city government, sustainable urban development and the role of women in politics. She will also participate in lectures and dialogues on important public issues and play a leading role in encouraging students from under-represented communities to choose careers in public service. Franklin will also be instrumental in the creation of a new urban management program at the school.

“I am privileged and honored to join the distinguished faculty at the LBJ School of Public Affairs,” said Franklin. “I have long admired the work and life of Barbara Jordan as a legislator, orator and courageous defender of justice and human rights. This opportunity allows me to work with students who will continue the legacy of service and leadership that Barbara Jordan inspired.”

Franklin served as mayor of Atlanta from 2002 to 2010. She was the first woman to hold the post and became the first African American woman to be elected mayor of a major city in the South.

Her public service career began in 1978 when she served as the commissioner of cultural affairs under Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson. She was later appointed city manager, becoming the first female chief administrative officer of a major U.S. city. As city manager, Franklin was responsible for nearly 8,000 city employees and guided the development of Hartsfield International Airport, a new city hall, a new municipal court building and thousands of housing units.

In 1991 Franklin joined the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG), serving as senior vice president for external relations. In this position she was instrumental in the development of the Centennial Olympic Park and served as ACOG’s primary liaison with labor unions, civil rights groups, neighborhood and community organizations, and environmentalists.

Franklin was named Governing magazine’s 2004 Public Official of the Year. In 2005, Time magazine named her one of the top five mayors in the country, and U.S. News and World Report named her one of America’s best leaders. Esquire magazine named her one of the best and brightest, and American City & County magazine named her Municipal Leader of the Year. In 2005 Franklin received the prestigious John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. In 2006 she was honored with the Southern Institute for Business and Professional Ethics’ Ethics Advocate Award. In 2007 Newsweek magazine named her one of the women to watch in their Women & Power issue.

Franklin also serves as the chairwoman and chief executive officer of Purpose Built Communities and as a member of the board of directors of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

The Barbara Jordan Visiting Professorship is funded through the Barbara Jordan Chair in Ethics and Political Values, an endowment created in 1997 to promote training in ethics and values-based decision-making.

Barbara Jordan’s legislative career began with her election to the Texas Legislature in 1966. Jordan’s victory made her the first African American woman to serve in the Texas Senate and the first African American elected to that body since 1883. From 1979 until her death in 1996, Jordan served as a distinguished professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, holding the Lyndon B. Johnson Centennial Chair in National Policy.


  1. Maynard Eaton says:

    What a quintessential selection for such a coveted position in higher education. Shirley Franklin is as good as it gets a political and public affairs expert. As an Atlanta news reporter I have had the honor of covering the administrations of all of Atlanta’s litany of Black Mayors — Maynard Jackson, Ambassador Andrew Young, Bill Campbell, Shirley Franklin and now Kasim Reed. From my perspective Mayor Franklin ranks at or near the top of that list! Congratulations Shirley Franklin and thanks for all you have done and will do in the spirit of Barbara Jordan.

    • Well stated, Mr. Eaton. Applause to you, Mayor Franklin and, last, but irrefutably not least, Barbara Jordan.

  2. Lenard I. Mayweather,Sr says:

    Ms Jackson is a gerat pick for any position that has to deal with handling people. I am a student from over 30 years a go when she was a professor at Talladega College. Believe me she can handle people from all backgrounds.

  3. Lynnette Young says:

    Mayor, what an honor to be named the Barbara Jordan Visiting Professor. Both of you warrior women who fight ceaselessly for the rights of others and justice for all. I’m sure all Atlanta feels as I do – you’re still making us proud. Well done and well deserved.

  4. Greg Pridgeon says:

    Mayor Shirley Franklin is a tremendous jewel and an asset to the world community. Her hard work, courage, knowledge, insight, compassion and intellect together have given her a unique blend of skills to contribute greatly towards the development of students at this fine institution. Congratulations to Mayor Franklin and
    the Texas family for consummating this special arrangement

  5. Charles Huddleston says:

    Mayor Franklin is an Amerocan Sheroe in her own right, and now she will enjoy continuting the legacy of the powerful, outspoken, and brilliant Barbara Jordan: delivering a clarion call to do the right thing! And, the University of Texas-Austin and the State of Texas will benefit from her keen insights and her ability to build broad-baased coalitions to work together for common sense solutions to critical public policy issues.

  6. Cheryl Scales says:

    Shirley Franklin is an exceptional choice for this LBJ chair to celebrate the magnificent and brilliant Barbara Jordan. In her own right, Mayor Franklin demonstrates that she if quintessential. She continues a new chapter of growing the minds of leaders in coalition building and transparency in a progressive and impactful way. Congratulations Mayor Franklin! Proud of you.