Shirley Franklin joined the LBJ School of Public Affairs as the Barbara Jordan Visiting Professor of Ethics and Political Values in 2013. Franklin served as Mayor of the City of Atlanta from 2002 to 2010. Upon her election, she became the first African-American woman elected mayor of any major Southern city.
Her public service career began in 1978 when she served as Atlanta's Commissioner of Cultural Affairs. She was later appointed Chief Administrative Officer by former Mayor Andrew Young. In 1991, Franklin joined the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games as senior vice-president for external relations.
Franklin also serves as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Purpose Built Communities, Chairman of the Board for the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and as a Board member of Delta Air Lines and Mueller Water Products.