Mayor’s Office of Communications
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 2500 • Atlanta, Georgia 30303
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 07/30/12
Mayor Kasim Reed Appoints Duriya Farooqui as Chief Operating Officer of the City of Atlanta
Farooqui brings extensive experience and a track record of success to the city's top management position
ATLANTA – Mayor Kasim Reed on Monday appointed Duriya Farooqui as Chief Operating Officer of the City of Atlanta, a position that encompasses oversight and executive management for the city’s operating departments including Aviation, Fire, Police, Corrections, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, Planning and Community Development, Public Works, and Watershed Management.
Prior to Mayor Reed’s announcement, Farooqui had served as Interim Chief Operating Officer since December 2011, leading major Reed Administration initiatives within city operations and across agencies to improve public safety and performance of city services during that time period.
“Duriya Farooqui has been instrumental in developing the strategies and tactics for successful implementation of my administration’s key priorities and goals over the past two-and-a-half years,” Mayor Reed said. “I am confident that as Chief Operating Officer, she will continue focusing on strengthening public safety and reducing crime, balancing the city’s budget and building its reserves, investing in young people through the Centers of Hope, and improving customer service in critical departments such as Public Works, Watershed Management and Planning and Community Development.”
“I am honored to serve the people of the Atlanta as Chief Operating Officer and work closely with Mayor Reed and his Cabinet to make this city better every day,” Farooqui said. “The Reed Administration has made tremendous progress in improving the city over the past 30 months, and I look forward to building on that momentum. I will continue working with residents, business owners and community groups to address their public safety concerns, improve city services, and build a stronger fiscal foundation that ensures Atlanta’s operational stability now and in the future.”
The Atlanta City Council must confirm Farooqui before her appointment is final.
Beginning her tenure with the City of Atlanta in the Finance Department in 2007, Farooqui completed the city’s first public infrastructure assessment that quantified a $750 million backlog in investment. In 2008, she assumed the role of Performance Management Director in the Mayor’s Office to lead the citywide performance management program called ATLStat. She acquired significant experience in citywide operations and performance improvement before joining Mayor Reed’s administration in January 2010 as the Deputy Chief Operating Officer.
In that role, she managed development of Mayor Reed’s first budget proposal in 2010, which included funds to hire 100 police officers and re-open all of the city’s recreation centers and pools. Farooqui also led the city’s negotiations in 2010 with Delta Airlines and other carriers that amended their lease agreement with the city, adding $30 million in airport revenues. The lease amendment enabled the timely financing of the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal that opened this spring. She spearheaded the Atlanta Streetcar project that was awarded a $47 million Tiger II federal grant and will become the first segment of light rail transit within the Atlanta region.
In 2011, Farooqui played a critical role in developing the analysis and proposals that led to the City of Atlanta’s successful effort to reform its $1.5 billion unfunded pension liability, legislation which was unanimously approved by the Atlanta City Council and is projected to save the city $500 million over 30 years. Under Mayor Reed’s leadership, Farooqui has worked on numerous other successful initiatives in her role as Interim Chief Operating Officer, such as:
Increasing the City’s reserves to more than $100 million in 2012 -- compared to $7.4 million in 2010 -- through strong expenditure controls and management, despite the economic recession.
Managing the opening of the $1.4 billion Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal within the budget and timeframe committed to by the Reed Administration in January 2010.
Passing a conservative and balanced city budget for the third year in a row without a property tax increase, despite revenue declines of more than $100 million since 2008.
Achieving the longstanding goal to expand the city’s police force to 2,000 officers for the first time in the City’s history. Officer attrition was reduced to an 8-year low and the City has hired more than 500 police officers since January 2010.
Working with the Atlanta Police Department to reduce major crime citywide, including the second lowest number of homicides in 40 years: 87 in 2011. Improved EMS and Fire response by fully staffing Atlanta Fire and Rescue with four firefighters on fire engines. For the first time in the department’s history, there are no vacant firefighter positions.
Investing more than $7 million in the city’s recreation centers to better serve families and youth.
Completing a pay in class assessment of all city employees that collapsed grade structures and brought all salaries within a broadly competitive range (a minimum of 80 percent of the market).
Initiating multiple sustainability projects, including a $2 million grant from Atlanta Gas Light Co. to build two compressed natural gas stations and begin the conversion of the City fleet to compressed natural gas.
Launching a 311 customer service initiative to significantly improve the city’s interactions with constituents, including a streamlined call center, optimized work-order management system and service training for all employees.
Prior to joining the City of Atlanta, Farooqui focused on international economic policy and worked for the World Bank, The Center for Global Development and the Center for International Development at Harvard University.
Farooqui holds a master’s degree in public administration and international development from the Kennedy School at Harvard University and was awarded a fellowship on merit of professional promise. She received a bachelor’s degree in economics and mathematics from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. Farooqui lives in the Candler Park area with her husband and two young sons.
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For more information about the City of Atlanta, please visit http://www.atlantaga.gov or watch City Channel 26. Follow the City of Atlanta on Facebook and Twitter @City_of_Atlanta. Follow Mayor Reed on Facebook and Twitter @Kasim Reed.