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Chief resilience officer

Chief resilience officers or business continuity planners develop, maintain, or implement business continuity and disaster mitigation and recovery strategies and solutions, including risk assessments, business impact analyses, strategy selection, and documentation of procedures.

Quick facts: Chief resilience officer
2019 Median Pay $73,570 per year; $35.37 per hour
Number of Jobs, 2019 N/A
Job Outlook, 2019-29 Faster than average (5%-7%)
Employment Change, 2019-29 N/A
Note: this data is for “Project Management Specialists and Business Operations Specialists, All Other.” Source O*Net

As jurisdictions and corporations face the effects of climate change and the related economic instability, social inequality, migration, and resource scarcity, they are starting to develop comprehensive strategies that closely interlink ecology and resilience, focusing on the capacity to withstand climate-related shocks. A CRO leads the development of a resilience strategy, a process during which the CRO brings in a wide variety of stakeholders to help identify the entity’s resilience challenges, its capabilities and plans to address them, and then to identify the gaps between these two. At the end of this process, the CRO will have a series of resilience-building initiatives that he or she will then work to put into action.

Chief Resilience Officers bring together a wide array of stakeholders from the private sector, non-profits, and civil society to build support for resilience-building in general and oversee the execution of individual initiatives. Often the CRO acts as an in-house consultant helping departments within the entity apply a resilience lens so that resources are leveraged holistically, and projects planned for synergy. This lets the entity get the most “bang for its buck” on its projects, potentially achieving multiple resilience goals with one project. This could include, for example, a flood barrier that also serves as a bike path, promoting healthy citizens and cohesive communities. Finally, CROs communicate to external stakeholders such as investors, residents, businesses and the media the work being undertaken to ensure a sustainable, thriving community.

How to become a chief resilience officer

Business continuity planners and chief resilience officers should have a firm grasp on the complex systems in an organization, jurisdiction, and/or ecosystem. A deep understanding of human, environmental, financial, and operational systems and their interplay will help project future scenarios for which to plan.

C-suite positions such as chief resilience officers are part of the executive team, and thus, it is a job that most people assume after years of work. As an occupation only formed within the last ten years, there is not yet a critical mass of CROs from which to glean “typical” career paths into the position. Additionally, the scope of resiliency efforts covers a wide array of topics. For these reasons, it’s hard to draw a line between a particular postsecondary degree and the position of CRO; but courses in business management or public administration, climate science, leadership, community planning, data analysis, sustainability, and environmental economics would provide the knowledge useful for meeting the job description of a CRO.

Important skills include critical thinking, complex problem-solving, judgment and decision-making, oral and written communication, systems analysis, and active listening. Facilitation, consensus-building, and conflict management skills could also be of benefit.

Education and resources

Access courses and resources to learn about green building and sustainability concepts related to resilience.

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Role on a LEED project

LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building and community types, LEED provides a framework for healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings and communities. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership.

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