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The Rockefeller Foundation Announces $30 Million Grant to the Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience at the Atlantic Council

New Grant Marks Next Phase of The Rockefeller Foundation’s Leadership on Climate and Resilience

NEW YORK, April 1, 2019 — The Rockefeller Foundation today announced a $30 million grant to the Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience at the Atlantic Council. This grant will support the Arsht Center’s work helping individuals, cities and communities across the globe build resilience in the face of the unique challenges of the 21st century. The grant begins a new phase of The Rockefeller Foundation’s well-established leadership on climate and resilience and establishes a new platform for this important work to evolve and continue.

“Over the past decade, The Rockefeller Foundation’s leadership on climate and resilience has been transformational in helping urban areas address physical, social and economic challenges related to a changing climate, growing cities and shifting economies,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, president of The Rockefeller Foundation. “Today we are thrilled to take the next leap forward in our commitment to resilience by partnering with the Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience at the Atlantic Council. The Atlantic Council has a proven track record of building strong alliances that tackle the most pressing issues facing our country and our planet.”

“For almost 60 years, the Atlantic Council has worked to galvanize U.S. leadership alongside partners worldwide to navigate complex and interconnected challenges,” said Frederick Kempe, president and CEO of Atlantic Council. “We are proud to further advance and expand the resilience movement in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation. We can achieve historic ends together, working with a host of other public and private sector partners.”

“The Rockefeller Foundation has been at the forefront of helping address the world’s most complex challenges, and its 100 Resilient Cities initiative has made an indelible impact on the resilience of cities, inside and outside of their network” said Kathy Baughman McLeod, director of the Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience at the Atlantic Council. “We are excited to begin a new chapter of this resilience movement.”

Over the past decade, The Rockefeller Foundation’s leadership on climate and resilience has been transformational in helping urban areas address the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. The Foundation has invested nearly $500 million in climate and resilience over that time, focused in efforts ranging from one of the largest off-grid renewable energy projects in India reaching 80,000 villagers to the creation of new impact investing instruments to combat climate change, such as the Forest Resilience Bond.

Under the 100 Resilient Cities initiative (100RC), more than 80 cities have hired Chief Resilience Officers and most cities in the network will have Resilience Strategies in place by the end of 2019. 100RC has built a robust network of city leaders and partners and guided areas in post-disaster phases to rebuild with resilience in mind. To date, 2,600 projects and initiatives have been proposed in member cities with more than $3 billion leveraged to implement them.

The Rockefeller Foundation has a long history of incubating projects and entities that have matured to become independent organizations in their own right, including The Global Impact Investment Network (GIIN), the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), the Acumen Fund, and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, and many others. To ensure the work of 100 Resilient Cities is sustained and institutionalized in this same capacity, The Rockefeller Foundation announces a separate, $12 million grant to Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) – the fiscal sponsor of 100RC – to allow continued support and transition time to the 100 Resilient Cities network through much of 2019.

In addition to the grants to the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, The Rockefeller Foundation will enhance its commitment to climate and resilience through two new efforts. First, the Foundation will establish a new Climate & Resilience Office to manage its investments and to integrate climate and resilience throughout its core work in food, health, power, economic mobility, and innovation. This office will also coordinate grant-making for disaster recovery work. And second, the Foundation will support a number of localized resilience efforts in the United States through its U.S. Jobs and Economic Opportunity Initiative, led in part by a new Managing Director for Economic Resilience and Operations. With a new grant in place to the Atlantic Council and new structures within the Rockefeller Foundation to carry forward its resilience work, the grant that funds 100RC will conclude in 2019.

“I am immensely proud of the work achieved by 100 Resilient Cities to integrate resilience in cities and communities around the world, and the Foundation is committed to working with cities and CROs to ensure this work is institutionalized,” said Shah.

The Rockefeller Foundation remains committed to the work of resilience and commitments for funded work, including Chief Resilience Officers and Resilience Strategies through 100RC, will continue as planned.

“We are looking forward to the next phase of resilience for our community and to working with The Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience,” said James Murley, Chief Resilience Officer of Miami Dade County, Florida. “We continue to build a culture of resilience in Miami-Dade County, secured by 100 Resilient Cities, and are developing solutions with our partners, including Miami Beach, the City of Miami and the Miami Foundation. We know that the Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience will be a strong collaborator on this work.”

“Our partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation and the 100 Resilient Cities Network has been a shot in the arm for resilience work over the last three years,” said Josh Stanbro, Honolulu’s Chief Resilience Officer. “What started with a seed grant has transformed into a permanent institution in Honolulu: the Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency. We’re immensely grateful for the support we’ve received to help our office become strong and self-sufficient, and we look forward to continuing our climate and resilience work for years to come.”


About The Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation advances new frontiers of science, data, policy and innovation to solve global challenges related to health, food, power and economic mobility. As a science-driven philanthropy focused on building collaborative relationships with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation seeks to inspire and foster large-scale human impact that promotes the well-being of humanity throughout the world by identifying and accelerating breakthrough solutions, ideas and conversations. For more information, visit

About The Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience
The global community faces a wide array of complex and growing challenges that threaten political and economic stability – and human safety. Trend lines in climate change, urbanization, and the modern global economy are converging, resulting in depleted natural resources and an uncertain, rapidly changing world that faces more severe, compounding risks such as flood, drought, conflict, and food insecurity. The Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience helps build and scale solutions for individuals, communities, and institutions to navigate global shocks and stressors. We seek to measurably advance resilience as an ability – to better prepare for, absorb, and recover from potential challenges – helping people and communities prosper in a more resilient world.

About The Atlantic Council
The Atlantic Council is a global community of business and civil society leaders, cutting-edge experts, and policymakers united around a shared calling of working together to secure the future. Leveraging the Council’s intellectual strength, global reach and nearly sixty-years of measurable global public policy impact, we transform ideas into action.  Based in Washington, DC, we operate around the world.


Press Contacts

The Rockefeller Foundation 

Matt Herrick,, 212-852-8454

The Atlantic Council
Amy Rogers,, 410-703-6968