FUSE Corps

Planning for Climate Resilience and Extreme Weather Events

FUSE Corps - Travis County, TX

Travis County, TX, is in — sometimes literally — the eye of a storm regarding climate change. The county's population is increasingly at risk due to the escalating frequency and severity of extreme weather events. Travis County seeks to develop a strategic framework to become a more climate-resilient community. It wants to strengthen residents' resiliency and enable government agencies and community partners to respond to extreme weather challenges more effectively.

Fellowship Dates: October 23, 2023 – October 21, 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.


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 can 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.


Travis County, the fifth largest county in Texas, faces increasing climate emergencies and weather hazards. The average annual 100-degree days have doubled in the last four decades, and extreme rainfall, flooding, and drought risks have escalated. These climate hazards threaten all residents, particularly low-income families, older adults, and non-English speakers. The rapid population growth in the Austin metro area adds to the vulnerability. Despite multiple agencies and organizations responding to emergencies, the county needs a comprehensive plan to enhance resilience to climate change and weather hazards. Travis County has partnered with FUSE to address this gap to develop a countywide resilience plan.

The need for this project stems from the worsening weather conditions and the lack of a comprehensive plan to mitigate their impact. Research indicates that dangerous weather conditions will continue to worsen, posing risks to residents' lives and well-being. Vulnerable populations in Travis County, including low-income families, non-English speakers, and older adults, are disproportionately affected by climate emergencies. The project aims to address these disparities and promote racial equity in the community.

Travis County encompasses diverse communities, ranging from low-income rural areas to the city of Austin. The county has 18 municipalities, including Austin, the state capital. The Austin metro area experienced significant population growth between 2010 and 2020, increasing the number of people susceptible to climate emergencies. The 2021 winter storm highlighted the impact of extreme weather, with broken water lines and limited access to clean water for several days.

Travis County aims to develop a strategic resilience plan by partnering with FUSE. The FUSE Executive Fellow will collaborate with local government agencies, community partners, and residents to gather input and draft the plan. Understanding diverse residents' challenges will be crucial for the project's success. The comprehensive plan will save lives, reduce disruptions from extreme weather events, promote equity, and prioritize vulnerable populations.

The FUSE Executive Fellow will facilitate collaboration, gather input, and draft the countywide resilience plan. Their work will involve engaging various stakeholders and incorporating their perspectives to ensure a comprehensive and inclusive approach. The Fellow's efforts will contribute to building a more resilient Travis County, safeguarding lives, and fostering equity within the community.


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.

Travis County's partnership with FUSE aims to drive the development of a comprehensive climate resilience plan. This project will focus on creating a strategic framework to address the increasing severity of weather conditions and build resilience across the county. The County seeks to leverage the expertise and collaborative efforts of the FUSE Executive Fellow to engage with various stakeholders and develop key deliverables that will enhance the county's preparedness and response capabilities.

During the initial phase of the fellowship, the Executive Fellow will embark on a listening tour, engaging with local government agencies, community partners, and residents to gather valuable input and insights. This process will ensure that the voices and needs of diverse populations, including at-risk and vulnerable communities, are considered in developing the resilience plan. The Executive Fellow will lay the foundation for a comprehensive and inclusive approach by understanding the unique challenges different population segments face.

By October 2024, the Executive Fellow will have overseen the following:

  1. A Countywide Resilience Plan: The Executive Fellow will collaborate with county agencies, municipal governments, nonprofit organizations, and community partners to draft a strategic framework for climate resilience. This plan will outline actionable strategies and measures to mitigate the impacts of severe weather events, protect vulnerable populations, and enhance the county's overall resilience. The plan will be a roadmap for coordinated response efforts and prioritize equitable resource and support distribution.
  2. Equity-Focused Recommendations: Recognizing the importance of equity in resilience planning, the Executive Fellow will provide recommendations that prioritize the needs of at-risk populations. This includes developing strategies to address the challenges faced by low-income households, individuals living in substandard housing, non-English speakers, and those who may be more vulnerable due to age, disability, or health status. These recommendations ensure the resilience plan reflects an inclusive and equitable approach, minimizing disparities and promoting social justice.
  3. Sustainability and Implementation Strategies: In addition to developing the resilience plan, the Executive Fellow will focus on creating sustainable mechanisms for its implementation and long-term success. This includes identifying funding opportunities, building partnerships with relevant stakeholders, and establishing monitoring and evaluation frameworks to track the plan's progress. By considering the financial, organizational, and institutional aspects of implementation, the Executive Fellow will contribute to the plan's longevity and impact.


  • Executive Sponsor – Charles Brotherton, County Executive; Travis County Emergency Services
  • Project Supervisor – Eric Carter, Chief Emergency Management Coordinator; Office of Emergency Management


In addition to the qualifications listed below, a background in local government and the unique needs of at-risk populations is strongly preferred for this project.

  • Synthesizes complex information into clear and concise recommendations and action-oriented implementation plans.
  • Develops and effectively implements both strategic and operational project management plans.
  • Generates innovative, data-driven, and result-oriented solutions to difficult challenges.
  • Responds quickly to changing ideas, responsibilities, expectations, trends, strategies, and other processes.
  • Communicates effectively verbally and in writing and excels in active listening and conversing.
  • Fosters collaboration across multiple constituencies in order to support more effective decision-making.
  • Establishes and maintains strong relationships with diverse stakeholders, both inside and outside of government, particularly community-based relationships.
  • Embraces differing viewpoints and implements strategies to find common ground.
  • Demonstrates confidence and professional diplomacy while effectively interacting with individuals at all levels of various organizations.

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.

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