The City of San Leandro is focused on building residents’ resilience to climate change through inclusive, community-driven pathways. As part of this strategy, it aims to plant 5,000 trees on both public and private property and engage local community organizations to become resilience hubs. The FUSE Executive Fellow will support this effort by managing a grant to plant trees and coordinating the network of community organizations involved in resilience planning and implementation.
Fellowship Dates: July 24, 2023 – July 22, 2024
Salary: Executive Fellows are FUSE employees and receive an annual base salary of $80,000. Fellows can also access various health, dental, and vision insurance benefits. Compensation for this year of public service is not intended to represent market-rate compensation for the experienced professionals in our program.
ABOUT THE FUSE EXECUTIVE FELLOWSHIP
FUSE is a national nonprofit working to expand social and economic opportunities, particularly for communities that have been limited by a history of systemic and institutionalized racism. FUSE partners with local governments and communities to more effectively address pressing challenges by placing experienced professionals within city and county agencies. These FUSE Executive Fellows lead strategic projects designed to advance racial equity and accelerate systems change. Since 2012, FUSE has led over 250 projects in 40 governments across 20 states, impacting the lives of 25 million people.
When designing each fellowship project, FUSE works closely with government partners and local stakeholders to define a scope of work that will achieve substantive progress toward regional priorities. FUSE then conducts an individualized search for each project to ensure that the selected candidate has at least 15 years of professional experience, the required competencies for the role, and deep connections to the communities being served. They are data-driven and results-oriented and able to effectively manage complex projects by developing actionable roadmaps and monitoring progress to completion.
Executive Fellows are hired as FUSE employees and embedded in government agencies for at least one year of full-time work. Throughout their fellowships, they receive training, coaching, and professional support from FUSE to help achieve their project goals. FUSE Executive Fellows bring diverse perspectives and new approaches to their projects. They build strong relationships with diverse arrays of stakeholders, foster alignment within and across various layers of government, and build partnerships between governments and communities.
San Leandro is a small, compact city in the San Francisco Bay Area. According to 2020 Census data, 69% percent of the population identify as people of color, and 36% identify as foreign born. Like many communities in the Bay Area, San Leandro faces a high risk for climate change impacts, including poor air quality (due to wildfire smoke), extreme heat, drought, floods, and sea level rise. In order to build residents’ ability to cope with climate change, the City of San Leandro is implementing its Tree Master Plan and developing a resilience hub network.
The Tree Master Plan guides the City’s efforts to store carbon, improve human and wildlife health, manage stormwater, and reduce extreme heat by expanding the urban canopy. A cornerstone to this plan is the recognition that the canopy is not equitably distributed, and that poor and disadvantaged neighborhoods are less likely to have access to trees. By prioritizing racial equity and social justice, San Leandro will ensure that BIPOC and low-income residents will receive the many benefits of the urban canopy. Recently, the City received a CAL FIRE Urban and Community Forestry Grant Award to facilitate progress toward the Tree Master Plan goals.
In addition to the Tree Master Plan, San Leandro launched a resilience hub initiative. The City partners with seven community-based organizations (including faith communities, youth organizations, and cultural centers) to serve as hubs for emergency preparedness and response, climate adaptation and mitigation, community care, and equity. As the hub network collaborates on existing projects (including the tree grant), they are preparing to apply for a California Strategic Growth Council Community Resilience Center Grant to deepen their planning and collaboration.
San Leandro will partner with FUSE to implement the tree grant and strengthen the City’s efforts to promote climate resilience. The FUSE Executive Fellow will manage the grant, coordinate resilience hub advancement, and prepare (and potentially manage) the community resilience center grant. As a result of this work, the residents of San Leandro will be better equipped to respond to and withstand climate change, regardless of their neighborhood.
PROJECT SUMMARY & POTENTIAL DELIVERABLES
The following provides a general overview of the proposed fellowship project. This project summary and the potential deliverables will be collaboratively revisited by the host agency, the fellow, and FUSE staff during the first few months of the fellowship.
Starting in August 2023, the Executive Fellow will leverage the City Resilience Manager’s relationships to meet key stakeholders, including City Manager’s Office staff; the Public Works Department; the Recreation and Human Services Department; the San Leandro Unified School District; resilience hub organization staff and volunteers; and members of the public. By tapping into these networks, the Executive Fellow will learn the scope and scale of the City’s resilience work (with an emphasis on urban canopy and racial equity). They will also conduct desk research to understand best practices to promote inclusive canopy access in cities similar to San Leandro.
Next, the Executive Fellow will manage the implementation of the tree grant. Management responsibilities will include administrative oversight, logistics coordination, strategic communications, planning and implementing events (e.g., at least one major tree planting day per month), coordinating public and residential outreach, documenting and measuring the impact of tree planting (e.g., calculating greenhouse gas emission reduction), and troubleshooting design and management issues with program partner Common Vision for the City of San Leandro and their Tree Master Plan.
Finally, as time and ability allow, the Executive Fellow will support the City Sustainability Manager in additional work that advances climate resilience in San Leandro. This could include, but is not limited to, one or more of the following:
By July 2024, the Executive Fellow will have overseen the following:
In addition to the qualifications listed below, a background in a relevant field, particularly with a strong focus on climate resilience, community partnership building, and a knowledge of sustainability is beneficial for this project.
FUSE is an equal-opportunity employer with core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply for this position.