Surat Appoints Kamlesh Yagnik as India’s First Chief Resilience Officer

CRO Will Lead City-Wide Resilience Building Efforts, Helping Surat Prepare For, Withstand, and Bounce Back from Chronic Stresses and Acute Shocks

100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, is Dedicated to Building Urban Resilience in 100 Cities around the World – Surat is a Member of $164M (USD) Global Effort

Wednesday, August 12, 2015 – Surat Municipal Corporation leaders have appointed Kamlesh Yagnik as Chief Resilience Officer (CRO), a new position created to lead city-wide resilience building efforts to help Surat prepare for, withstand, and bounce back from the ‘shocks’ – catastrophic events like floods and storms – and ‘stresses’ – slow-moving disasters like acute traffic, air pollution, water shortages and social cohesion, which are increasingly part of 21st century life. Mr. Yagnik’s appointment as CRO, the first CRO in India, will support the Surat Municipal Corporation and Surat Climate Change Trust’s strategy for the city, which includes establishing a results based resilience strategy, creating partnerships with the public and private sectors, and engaging the public to participate in building resilience in Surat. Mr. Yagnik will report directly to Surat senior leadership and, chiefly, will oversee the development and implementation of a comprehensive Resilience Strategy for the city.

Appointing a CRO is an essential element of Surat’s resilience building partnership with 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller FoundationThe 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) organization is part of a $164 million (USD) commitment by The Rockefeller Foundation to build urban resilience in 100 cities around the world. Surat’s engagement with 100 Resilient Cities kicked off in 2014 with a “Resilience Agenda-Setting Workshop”, and under Mr. Yagnik’s leadership, the city is poised to take the next step in its resilience planning process. The position will be fully funded by 100RC. Through its relationship with 100RC, Surat will be positioned to share its progress with other Indian cities, especially as additional cities in India seek to apply to the 100RC network through the 100RC Challenge.

Commenting on the development, Mr. Milind Torawane, Municipal Commissioner said, “We are very pleased to have Mr. Kamlesh Yagnik as the CRO spearheading the resilience program for Surat. Mr. Yagnik has sound experience with the different civic bodies, having worked on numerous developmental projects in the city. We look forward to his partnership in being able to put together a developmental roadmap for Surat in tandem with the 100 Resilient Cities program. Surat city has faced multiple numerous challenges in the past, but has demonstrated its strength by bouncing back and becoming one of the fastest developing cities in the country. Access to the 100 RC program will further accelerate growth and help Surat transform into a well-planned, sustainable city.”

Mr. Yagnik will lead a 6 to 9 month effort to develop a comprehensive Resilience Strategy in Surat by building on the progress and dialogue launched during 2014’s Agenda-Setting Workshop and a Resilience Garage hosted in early 2015 in New Delhi. Furthermore, he will receive personnel and technical support provided by 100RC; and utilize resilience building tools from private, public, academic, and NGO sector organizations that have partnered with 100RC. Surat’s resilience strategy will be action-oriented and holistic, with an emphasis on partnership building and meeting the needs of poor and vulnerable communities.

“With the responsive and participatory governance of Surat Municipal Corporation and consistent and sincere efforts by a wide array of enlightened and committed citizenry and stakeholders of Surat,” said Mr. Yagnik. “Our city has embarked on journey to combat all shocks and stresses. By accepting the bestowed responsibility to work as a CRO, I stand committed to put in my best with the support and guidance of all concerned. It is indeed an honor to work on 100RC Project.”

“Mr. Yagnik joins a network of peers from cities across the globe that will share best practices and surface innovative thinking,” said Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities. “Mr. Yagnik and Surat city are poised to become global leaders in resilience, and be an example for cities throughout India and around the world.”

The CRO is an innovative feature of 100RC’s resilience building program, specifically designed to breakdown existing barriers at the local level, account for pre-existing resilience plans, and create partnerships, alliances and financing mechanisms that will address the resilience vulnerabilities of all city residents, with a particular focus on low-income and vulnerable populations.

About 100 Resilient Cities—Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation 

100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) helps cities around the world become more resilient to social, economic, and physical challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC provides this assistance through: funding for a Chief Resilience Officer in each of our cities who will lead the resilience efforts; resources for drafting a resilience strategy; access to private sector, public sector, academic, and NGO resilience tools; and membership in a global network of peer cities to share best practices and challenges. 100RC currently has 67 member cities. For more information, visit:

100RC recently launched the third and final round of the 100 Resilient Cities challenge, where cities can apply to become part of the final cohort of cities in the global network of 100 cities. For application information, visit:



City Contact Info: Jatin Shah (; 0091-97243-45207)

100 Resilient Cities: Andrew Brenner (; 646-612-7236)