Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens has appointed new leadership to the city’s Office of Sustainability and Resiliency by naming Chandra Farley as the Chief Sustainability Officer and promoting John R. Seydel III to Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer.
Together, Farley and Seydel will be tasked with assessing Atlanta’s sustainability plans, goals, and programs including updating the city’s comprehensive climate and energy plan in alignment with the UN’s Sustainable development goals (SDG’s), creating the first comprehensive food systems plan, creating a sustainable procurement strategy, as well as supporting the city to capture, utilize, and leverage federal resources from the American Rescue Plan Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and especially the historic climate legislation – the Inflation Reduction Act.
“The world is experiencing a climate crisis, and our Administration understands the sizeable impact rising energy costs, barriers to food accessibility and other hardships have on communities across Atlanta—particularly those in historically underserved areas,” Dickens said in a statement. “With Chandra and John’s leadership, I look forward to expanding Atlanta’s role in building a smart, sustainable future for generations of Atlantans.”
Prior to joining the city, Farley led ReSolve Consulting, an energy justice consulting firm that serves clients spanning NGO, corporate and academic sectors. Farley has also served as a Director for Partnership for Southern Equity’s Just Energy Portfolio.
In that role, she built nationally recognized initiatives by crafting local and regional energy equity and climate justice strategies. Using community organizing and coalition building—while leveraging data and research—Farley led initiatives for the advancement of more equitable outcomes for Black, rural and low-income communities in Georgia and across the southeast. Prior to that work, she served as Program Manager for Commercial Sustainability Services at Southface Energy Institute, developing sustainability programs to implement energy, water and resource-efficiency projects for nonprofit commercial buildings — impacting more than 300 nonprofits across 26 states.
Seydel is an Atlanta native and has served as the Director of Sustainability for the City of Atlanta for more than five years. In that role, Seydel focused on planning and advancing the city’s sustainability and resilience goals. He also helped implement internal and community programs and partnerships focusing on clean energy, energy and water efficiency, urban agriculture and food access, and alternative fuel vehicles.
Farley’s appointment is effective Sept. 29 and her role will place her in the Mayor’s Cabinet.