Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin has announced that she will join the University of Texas at Austin’s Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs as the Barbara Jordan Visiting Professor in Ethics and Political Values.
In a Facebook posting Tuesday, Franklin wrote: “I am proud to be joining the University of Texas-Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs as the Barbara Jordan Visiting Professor … Atlanta will be my home most of the time but it is an honor I simply could not pass up.”
She currently serves as a member on the board of directors for both Delta Air Lines and Mueller Water Products, a leading manufacturer and marketer of products and services that are used in the transmission and distribution of safe, clean drinking water and in water treatment facilities.
Franklin was the 58th mayor of Atlanta, serving as mayor of the city from 2002 to 2010, and was the first female to be elected mayor. Upon her election, she became the first Black woman to be elected mayor of any major Southern city. She was the city’s fourth Black mayor.
In 2005, Time Magazine named Franklin one of the five best big-city American mayors, and she was included in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Leaders of 2005.” The recognition came, in part, from Franklin’s efforts to rebuild Atlanta’s water infrastructure, a $3.8 billion initiative that has been recognized as a model for leadership and fiscal responsibility. Franklin has often said she is proud to be known as Atlanta’s “sewer mayor.”
As she joins UT’s faculty, on Jan. 31, Franklin will introduce former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young at the second annual Tom Johnson Lectureship hosted by the LBJ Library.
She is also scheduled to serve as the keynote speaker for the 17th annual Barbara Jordan Forum on Feb. 19.
Franklin is originally from Philadelphia and received her B.A. in sociology from Howard University and her M.A., also in sociology, from the University of Pennsylvania. She is an Honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority.