100RC, Watson Foundation Partner, Expand Capacity of CROs to Develop, Execute Resilience Strategies

September 20, 2016, New York, NY100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) and the Watson Foundation, today announced a partnership which will offer 100RC member cities the opportunity to have a fully funded JK Watson Fellow join their Resilience Office throughout the summer months (June-August) to provide immediate capacity to advance strategic or tactical resilience initiatives in cities. Already through the partnership, three members of the 100RC network have completed fellow engagements: Los Angeles, Boulder, and Boston (USA).

The Watson Foundation joins a prestigious group of 100RC Platform Partners including The Asia Foundation, World Wildlife Fund and World Bank that are committed to helping cities around the world withstand and recover from the shocks and stresses which are increasingly part of 21st century life.

“Our partnership with 100RC allows us to further our mission of expanding the vision and developing the potential of remarkable students while supporting thought-leading cities around the world in this innovative long-term effort. JK Watson Fellows are ambitious, high-performing and creative students who have already shown an immense desire and ability to make a difference in the work of 100RC member cities,” said Chris Kasabach, Executive Director of the Watson Foundation.

This summer, three JK Watson Fellows joined the Los Angeles, Boulder and Boston 100RC teams making large, lasting contributions to their resilience goals.

“Our experience with the Watson program has been extraordinarily positive and our Watson Fellow in particular has been extremely impressive in his curiosity, dedication, and professionalism. He made a substantial contribution in a short period of time to a very high profile initiative because he was able to creatively explore the concepts, identify new partnerships, and recommend a project design to bring resilience value to the entire community,” said Greg Guibert, Chief Resilience Officer in Boulder, CO.

“With the selection of our 100 cities complete, 100RC’s focus is on increasing support to our Chief Resilience Officers and their cities to develop and execute meaningful, high-impact strategies that tackle some of the biggest resilience challenges facing cities. Our relationship with the Watson Foundation does just that,” said Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities. “With the 100RC-Watson relationship, member cities gain fast and focused capacity. At the same time, we all benefit from the uptake of resilience expertise among a new generation of leaders, just when it is needed most.”

Jeannette K. (JK) Watson Fellows are high-performing individuals attending one of twelve New York City academic partner institutions. Students who earn a place in the fellowship are chosen through a highly competitive selection process. Selection criteria include: high standards, demonstrated ambition, leadership, integrity, accountability, teamwork and high academic achievement. During their three years in the fellowship, they gain broad professional experience in both domestic and international internships, mentorship and extensive programming that develops their personal, professional and cultural potential.

About the Watson Foundation
Founded in 1961 by the family of Thomas J. Watson, the IBM leader, The Watson Foundation partners with over 100 colleges and international organizations to extend life changing programs to remarkable students. With the belief that the world is in need of more humane and effective leaders the foundation provides students with the widest cultural, professional and personal growth opportunities, empowering them to expand their vision, test and develop their potential, and gain the confidence and perspective to do so for others. For more information, visit: www.watson.foundation

About 100 Resilient Cities—Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation
100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) 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 our cities who will lead the resilience efforts; 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. For more information, visit: www.100ResilientCities.org.