Mayor Curry hires Jacksonville’s chief resiliency officer

Anne Coglianese pictured in 2018 when she was the New Orleans' coastal program manager. (Travis Lux/WWNO)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Discussing the city’s preparations for Tropical Storm Elsa to move through Jacksonville, Mayor Lenny Curry announced he has hired a chief resiliency officer, a new position that’s charged with helping the city prepare for the impacts of climate change.

After a nationwide search, Curry announced Tuesday that Anne Coglianese is his pick for CRO.

The Jacksonville City Council voted in December to create the position at the recommendation of the council’s Special Committee on Resiliency. Curry included funding for the role in this year’s city budget.

“Anne has worked at the highest levels of the federal government. She led the Coastal Resiliency Program for the city of New Orleans, served on the coastal advisory team for the state of Louisiana’s coastal master plan and worked on the climate preparedness and resiliency team at the White House Council on Environmental Quality,” Curry said. “Anne is a welcome addition to the city of Jacksonville and I look forward to working with her.”

Coglianese is expected to begin her new role on July 19, but she’ll need to be confirmed by the City Council first. She will report to the Director of Planning and Development.

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Her appointment will mean Jacksonville is no longer the only major city in Florida without a CRO.

Jacksonville was on track to have a CRO in 2016 thanks to funding from the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities initiative. However, shortly after Curry took office, the city dropped out of the program, which awarded cities around the world $1 million to address extreme weather, crime and sea level rise.