July 25, 2022
The Charter Cities Institute (CCI) today announced that by unanimous agreement among its Board of Directors, Kurtis Lockhart, CCI’s Head of Research has been named as the organization’s second-ever Executive Director, effective immediately.
Lockhart has been serving as Acting Executive Director since February when CCI’s Founder, Mark Lutter, stepped down to head a new city development project for which CCI is advising. Lutter, who remains on the CCI Board, headed a comprehensive search for a new full-time, permanent ED, ultimately selecting Lockhart, who has been with CCI for three years, running the organization’s best-in-class research department, a role which he will maintain while also overseeing the organization’s general operations.
Lockhart is a PhD candidate in political science at the University of Oxford. Prior to joining CCI he worked as a Research Manager for the International Growth Center (IGC), for Warc Africa (both in Sierra Leone), and for the ELIMU Impact Evaluation Center in Kenya. Kurtis has also completed consulting projects with both Oxford Development Consultancy and with Warc Africa. He holds an MSc in Development Management from the London School of Economics where he graduated top of his class, as well as a BA in Economics and Development Studies from McGill University.
CCI vetted many outstanding candidates for the ED role, ultimately deciding that the ideal candidate was already in-house. Said Lockhart, “I’m thrilled to be selected for the permanent ED position. Mark has created a truly great organization with a mission that is both unapologetically bold and sorely needed in our rapidly urbanizing world. I can’t wait to further this mission along with the truly stellar team here at CCI. Onwards!”
The Charter Cities Institute has had a robust first half of 2022, strengthening its international presence by growing its Zambia office, adding staff to its DC-based team, and launching Africa’s Next 50 Cities Coalition (NXT50) to help create a roadmap for what the next fifty cities built in Africa will look like. NXT50 convenes and mobilizes key stakeholders who are dedicated to harnessing Africa’s rapid urbanization for human prosperity, facilitating the building of thriving new cities that create jobs, foster investment and innovation, and promote human flourishing across the continent.
The appointment of Lockhart as ED allows CCI to continue its growth trajectory, maintain its core leadership team, and remain dedicated to its mission – building the ecosystem for charter cities by creating legal, regulatory, and planning frameworks needed for rapid urban growth; advising and connecting key stakeholders including governments, new city developers, and multilateral institutions; and, influencing the global agenda through research and partnerships.
About the Charter Cities Institute:
The Charter Cities Institute empowers new cities with better governance to lift tens of millions of people out of poverty. It was founded on the idea that a fresh approach was necessary to tackle humanity’s most pressing challenges: global poverty, rapid urbanization, and conflict and migration caused by poverty, war, and climate change. Charter cities—new cities granted a special jurisdiction to create a new governance system—are that solution.