About the Office of Resilience and Capital Planning

The Office of Resilience and Capital Planning promotes the preservation and sustainability of San Francisco’s public capital assets and the city’s overall resilience to acute shocks and chronic stresses.

Part of the Office of the City Administrator, the Office of Resilience and Capital Planning oversees policies, programs, interagency initiatives, and financial strategies that support the resilience of the City’s infrastructure and the people who rely on it.

 

What We Do

The mission of the Office of Resilience and Capital Planning (ORCP) is to promote the preservation and long-term sustainability of the City’s capital assets and the resilience of the City as a whole no matter the chronic stresses and acute shocks it experiences.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Office of Resilience and Capital Planning is responsible for the development of the City’s biennial ten-year Capital Plan, annual Capital Budget, and the Resilient SF strategic planning document, first released in 2016. The Office’s primary responsibilities include:

1. Review and prioritize Capital Plan and Capital Budget requests; project and coordinate funding sources and uses; produce the Capital Plan and the Capital Budget; and administers the Capital Planning Committee.

2. Implement the initiatives of the Resilient SF strategic vision, including management of the City’s Lifelines Council and coordination of the Earthquake Safety Implementation Program (ESIP).

3. Coordinate interagency capital initiatives; provide policy analysis and reports on interagency capital planning, and offer strategic guidance to City executives and elected officials on resilience- and capital-related matters.

Resilience

Resilience in San Francisco describes the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses, and systems within the city to survive, adapt, and grow, no matter what kind of chronic stresses and acute shocks they may experience. It is important to note that resilience is a concept that extends beyond preparation for discrete natural disasters and should be defined in connection to issues such as climate change, escalating urbanization, and other disruptions of daily life.

City Hall
 

Who We Are

In response to concerns from City leaders and citizens, Mayor Gavin Newsom and the Board of Supervisors passed legislation in August 2005 requiring the City to annually develop and adopt a ten-year capital expenditure plan for City-owned facilities and infrastructure. This legislation also created the Capital Planning Committee (CPC) and the Capital Planning Program.

In 2013, San Francisco became one of the first 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) to receive funding and support from the Rockefeller Foundation. In 2014, San Francisco was the first city to hire a Chief Resilience Officer and in 2016 was the first to complete a strategic plan for resilience, Resilient SF. San Francisco’s Office of Resilience and Recovery was established in 2016.

To institutionalize resilience as a civic priority, in 2016 the Capital Planning Program and the Office of Resilience and Recovery merged to create the new Office of Resilience and Capital Planning (ORCP), led by the City’s Chief Resilience Officer. Please find information on ORCP staff below.

  • Carmen Chu
    City Administrator
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    Carmen Chu photo
    Carmen Chu
    City Administrator

    City Administrator Carmen Chu was sworn in by Mayor London N. Breed on February 2, 2021. Prior to becoming City Administrator, Ms. Chu was the elected Assessor (2014-2021), an elected representative on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (2007-2013), and Deputy Director of the Mayor’s Office of Public Policy and Finance (2004-2007). City Administrator Chu has over 16 years of governmental management and finance experience in the City and County of San Francisco and is the first Asian American woman to serve as City Administrator.

    City Administrator Chu oversees 25 departments, divisions, and programs that include the Department of Technology, Office of Contract Administration/Purchasing, Real Estate, County Clerk, Fleet Management, Convention Facilities, Animal Care and Control, Medical Examiner, and Treasure Island. She is responsible for a 2,700-strong workforce, and an annual budget of nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars.

    During her time as the Assessor, her office generated over $3 billion in annual revenues for vital City services and for public education. Her efforts in overhauling the operations and performance of the office and in successfully reversing a decades-old backlog earned her office the prestigious 2020 Good Government Award, an honor recognizing excellence in public sector management and stewardship. She also implemented an in-progress lien date construction value process which increased enrollments from under $500 million in 2014 to over $11 billion in 2018. Cumulative growth in the total assessment roll contributed to over half a billion in property tax revenues above forecasted expectations, which resulted in the State’s return of ERAF dollars to San Francisco, in addition to over $2.6 billion in increased bonding capacity for road repairs and needed public infrastructure work.

    Working with statewide partners, Chu served as President of the Bay Area Assessors’ Association, and on the Board of the California Assessors’ Association, organizations committed to developing uniform assessment practices and collaboration across California.

    Chu also overhauled the office’s outdated technology and processing infrastructure. In August 2020, she launched a new public records system which improves service to taxpayers and adds functionality and safeguards for City staff. The project will empower more efficient operations, reduce revenue at risk, improve transparency, and enable audit and tracking functionality. Prior to these implementations, the office launched electronic recording and automated online annual business filings to ease taxpayers’ interactions with the office. Chu also lifted a standards function in the office, employed regression analysis, real time production data tracking, GIS mapping, and in 2016 streamlined workflow management and access to critical property information for over 211,000 properties by launching the Assessor’s Information Management System (AIMS), where over 3 million images are now secured and easily accessed by staff on and offsite.

    As County Recorder, Chu took important steps to ensure accountability. In 2015 she initiated the office’s Transfer Tax Audit program which has identified close to $40 million in underreported or unreported transfer tax. Recently, she sought to tighten San Francisco’s transfer tax laws by working with the Board of Supervisors to strengthen the City’s ability to collect unpaid transfer taxes and to close loopholes for legal entities. To ensure accurate accounting of public physical assets, she worked with the Board of Supervisors to pass mandatory recording requirements to capture intra-governmental transfers of property.

    In 2013, Chu and her staff were proud to be the only County Recorder office in the State to remain open the entire weekend when California first resumed same-sex marriages. As a result, 479 couples were able to immediately record their public marriages in the historical records of the City and County of San Francisco without waiting a minute longer for the same rights others experience. Advocating at the state, she also helped to draft and pass legislation to ensure domestic partnerships received the same property tax benefits as married couples.

    As a public servant, Chu’s values are rooted in her experience growing up a daughter of immigrants. In 2017 she launched the Bay Area’s first Family Wealth Forum, an initiative to bridge the resource gap for low-income and monolingual immigrant communities in accessing free, credible financial and estate planning services. Over 3,000 residents and their families have since received one-on-one counseling or have been helped though this program. Other efforts to expand access like launching a new public website, publicly posting annual assessment data, in-language educational videos, online resources, and forums across the City in neighborhoods such as the Bayview, Mission, Oceanside, and Sunset have earned her the 2018 Epic Awards, top honors from the California Association of Public Information Officers.

    As a strong women leader of color, Chu firmly believes in providing equitable opportunities for the community. In 2018, Chu launched the W Challenge a non-partisan civic engagement effort aimed at uplifting the representation and voices of women. There were 48 non-profit organizations and 150 local women civic leaders who have helped to amplify the message of civic participation through the W Challenge so far.

    Through the COVID-19 pandemic, Chu also served as co-chair of the City's Economic Recovery Task Force. Collectively, the Task Force functioned as a bridge between community, business, labor and non-profit leaders and local government/public health officials, to create a series of recommendations to help San Franciscans recover. Policy recommendations include providing for operational flexibility, reducing administrative burdens, and supporting efforts to narrow the gap for low-income and immigrant communities and communities of color. The final report with 41 recommendations was released on October 9, 2020.

    As Supervisor, Chu prioritized investments and planning for long-term public infrastructure in the community, including the West Sunset Playground, Ortega and Parkside branch libraries and resilience planning at Ocean Beach. She also initiated business corridor investments, including storefront beautification projects and funding for disability access reviews. Other legislation she carried included tenant protections for victims of domestic violence, micro-contracting opportunities for local businesses, and active storefront zoning legislation for neighborhood commercial districts. She chaired the Board’s Budget and Finance Committee and represented the Board on the San Francisco Health Service System, Director of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, and was Commissioner of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority.

    City Administrator Carmen Chu earned a Masters’ Degree in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was the recipient of the prestigious Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship. She also earned her Bachelors’ Degree in Public Policy from Occidental College, where she received a full scholarship through the James Irvine Foundation. Currently, she is an Executive Board member of SPUR, a non-profit research and policy organization focused on developing regional solutions to cross-county challenges like housing affordability, climate resilience, economic equity and public transportation. Previously, Chu served on the San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System Board where she oversaw the investments and policies of a $26 billion public pension system.

  • Brian Strong
    Director and Chief Resilience Officer
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    Brian Strong
    Brian Strong
    Director and Chief Resilience Officer

    As the City’s Chief Resilience Officer and Director of the Office of Resilience and Capital Planning, Brian Strong is responsible for the City’s ten-year Capital Plan, its Capital Budget, and the implementation of the Resilient SF strategic vision. Brian created the City’s first multi-year capital plan in 2006 and has been instrumental in the development and passage of over $5 billion in G.O. bonds to improve San Francisco's infrastructure. Brian has implemented a number of innovative resilience programs to protect San Francisco’s infrastructure including the Hazards and Climate Resilience Plan, Earthquake Safety Implementation Program, Lifelines Restoration Performance Project, and Earthquake Safety and Emergency Response bond program; and the nation’s first Tall Buildings Study, Sea Level Rise Guidelines for Capital Planning, and city building-by-building HAZUS seismic assessments.

    Under Brian’s leadership, the Capital Planning Program received the 2011 Good Government Team Award and a 2020 project award from the Mayor’s Fiscal Advisory Committee and the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association. He also serves as President of the Board for the San Francisco Community Investment Fund that distributes new market tax credits to disadvantaged communities and the State of California’s Integrated Climate and Resiliency Program Technical Advisory Committee. Brian has a BA from Oberlin College and MPA in Intergovernmental Management from the University of Southern California.

  • Melissa Higbee
    Resilience Program Manager
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    Melissa Higbee
    Resilience Program Manager

    Melissa Higbee is the Resilience Program Manager in the Office of Resilience and Capital Planning. Melissa led the development of the Hazards and Climate Resilience (HCR) Plan, San Francisco’s first integrated hazard mitigation and climate adaptation plan. She continues to advance implementation of the HCR’s strategies, including the Heat and Air Quality Resilience Project and Earthquake Safety Implementation Program. 

    Melissa also leads disaster recovery planning efforts, which has included serving on the management team of the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force, with a focus on policy recommendations for vulnerable populations. Melissa has also played a key role in integrating resilience and racial equity in the 10-Year Capital Plan and 2-Year Capital Budget. 

    Prior to joining the City and County of San Francisco, Melissa worked at AECOM, supporting cities, such as Oakland, Berkeley, and Miami Beach with the development of their resilience strategies and climate adaptation plans. 

    Melissa earned a B.A. in Geography from U.C. Berkeley and a Masters in City Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

  • Sandra Hamlat
    Principal Resilience Analyst
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    Sandra Hamlat
    Principal Resilience Analyst

    Sandra Hamlat is a Principal Resilience Analyst in the Office of Resilience and Capital Planning. Sandra manages the Climate Resilience Integration Program that aims to reduce San Francisco’s contribution to a changing climate while increasing its response to the unavoidable near- and long-term risks of climate change-related hazards. She is also responsible for aligned communications and community engagement, coordinated planning and performance management, and climate resilient building and infrastructure.

    Sandra has extensive experience in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through transportation planning and carbon sequestration as well as climate change adaptation. Her technical understanding of environmental issues informs her work to create positive behavioral and policy changes. She has worked for a variety of public and private environmental organizations throughout California on projects dealing with planning, composting, recycling, and land conservation. Prior to joining the City and County of San Francisco, Sandra worked with the East Bay Regional Park District, and her professional focus was on regional policy and climate change. Sandra also serves as the Membership Director of the American Planning Association Northern Section.

  • Kate Faust
    Capital Planning Manager
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    Kate Faust
    Capital Planning Manager

    Kate Faust is the Capital Planning Manager in the Office of Resilience and Capital Planning (ORCP). Kate plays a key role in the development and management of the Capital Plan, with an emphasis on the City’s debt programs. Kate facilitates the planning and execution of large capital projects and programs, like renovation of City-owned homeless shelters, and the Justice Facilities Improvement Program. Prior to joining ORCP, Kate was the Capital Analyst at the Arts Commission where she was responsible for identifying immediate and ongoing infrastructure needs and developing funding strategies for the City’s Cultural Centers and civic art collection.

  • Nishad Joshi
    Capital Budget Manager
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    Nishad Joshi
    Capital Budget Manager

    Nishad Joshi has been a Senior Analyst on the Capital Planning Program team since April 2014. His primary responsibilities include data preparation, analysis, and validation for the City's two-year Capital Budget and ten-year Capital Plan. He also leads the quarterly expenditure reporting efforts for the Capital Budget and provides data quality assurance support office-wide.

    Prior to his current role, Nishad worked at San Francisco’s Human Services Agency.

  • Hemiar Alburati
    Senior Business Analyst
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    Hemiar Alburati
    Senior Business Analyst

    Hemiar Alburati is the Capital Asset Systems Manager of the Office of Resilience and Capital Planning. In this role, Hemiar directly manages all IT systems used in the Capital Plan, Capital Budget, and Resilient SF processes and oversees parallel efforts with sister departments to improve information sharing, quality, and effectiveness city-wide. He also leads special projects to improve data sharing, standardization, and collection for City departments and our constituents.

    Prior to joining the City of San Francisco in 2014, Hemiar worked as the lead software engineer for Copart, a senior analyst for TID, and gained over a decade of IT experience working with many other private and public sector clients.

  • Alex Morrison
    Resilience GIS Analyst
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    Alex Morrison
    Resilience GIS Analyst

    Alex Morrison is a Resilience GIS Analyst providing support for various city-wide climate mitigation and adaptation actions as well as supporting ORCP's seismic retrofit programs. These actions include co-project managing the Heat and Air Quality Resilience (HAQR) project in partnership with the Department of Public Health (DPH), helping to oversee implementation of the Hazard and Climate Resilience Plan (HCR), and supporting the ClimateSF program.

    Alex holds a Master's in City and Regional Planning From Georgia Tech, a Bachelor's of Science in Sustainability and the Built Environment from The University of Florida, and transitioned to ORCP's staff after participating in the San Francisco Fellows 2018 Cohort.

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