A Leadership Team Dedicated to the Purpose Built Mission

A key ingredient in the Purpose Built Communities model is the development of a dynamic local leadership team for every project. It is imperative to have committed, like-minded leaders working together to drive the initiative forward. The same is true within our own team, and Purpose Built is anchored by a world-class group of experts committed to realizing the vision.

Shirley Franklin
Chair of the Board and Chief Executive Officer

Shirley Franklin was elected the first African-American female mayor of a major southern city in 2001, and served as Atlanta’s mayor for the maximum two-terms, completing her time in office in 2009. After leaving office, she was appointed to the William and Camille Cosby Endowed Chair at Spelman College and served in this capacity until June 2011.

During Shirley’s eight years as mayor, she was known for her collaborative approach to solving tough urban problems and to enlisting a broad range of support from Atlanta residents, regional business and civic leaders building on her experience as a Cabinet official in the administrations of Mayors Maynard Jackson and Andrew Young. Her many successes as mayor include advocating ethics reform, overhauling municipal government financial and management operations,  adopting multiple year budget practices, launching the Atlanta BeltLine initiative, planning and executing over $5 billion in airport and water infrastructure improvements, leading the acquisition of the Morehouse College Collection of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Papers, creating the Atlanta Regional Commission on Homelessness, and developing successful business and public sector partnerships and alliances. Her signature Mayor’s Youth Program provided internships and over $6 million in financial aid to nearly 4,000 Atlanta college students. Aside from her role as a public official, Shirley’s community service spans over 40 years in Atlanta, and includes her active participation in programs for the arts, homelessness, community development and higher education.

Shirley is also Chair of the National Center of Civil and Human Rights, Co-chair of the United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Regional Commission on Homelessness, and serves on the Boards of Directors for the United Way of Greater Atlanta, Delta Air Lines, Mueller Water Products, and The Volcker Alliance.

She served as a board member of the East Lake Foundation, and Founding Chair of the Charles R. Drew Charter School. Shirley currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Purpose Built Communities, and President of Clarke-Franklin and Associates, Inc. In January 2013, she joined the faculty of the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas-Austin as the Barbara Jordan Visiting Professor of Ethics and Political Values.

Greg J. Giornelli
President and Chief Operating Officer

From 2002-2010, Greg Giornelli worked for the City of Atlanta in various capacities, including Chief Operating Officer, President of the Atlanta Development Authority and Chief Policy Officer.

Greg was the founding Executive Director of the East Lake Foundation (1994-2001), the lead non-profit organization that developed and continues to implement a bold, innovative and successful model of community revitalization that helps families break the cycle of poverty, from 1994-2001. In this role, he oversaw the redevelopment of the East Lake Meadows public housing project into a revitalized mixed-income community. This successful transformation included Atlanta’s first charter school, a new YMCA, a child development center, the East Lake Junior Golf Academy, and a number of health and wellness programs for neighborhood families.

Greg is also an attorney who has worked in private practice and as an Assistant District Attorney for DeKalb County, located in Metro Atlanta.

Carol R. Naughton
Senior Vice-President

Carol Naughton helped found Purpose Built Communities in 2008. She previously served for seven years as the Executive Director of the East Lake Foundation, the lead non-profit organization that developed and continues to implement a bold, innovative and successful model of community revitalization that helps families break the cycle of poverty.

An expert in public/private partnerships, Carol has crafted groundbreaking alliances in housing and education. Prior to joining the East Lake Foundation, she was General Counsel and Deputy Executive Director for Legal and Nonprofit Affairs for the Atlanta Housing Authority. Before working with the AHA, Carol was engaged in the private practice of law with Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan’s real estate group, where she primarily represented developers, lenders and investors.

Carol serves on the Board of the Charles R. Drew Charter. She is a former president of the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers, a member of the State Bar of Georgia, and a former member of the Board of Governors for that organization. She serves, or has served, on the boards of several community and national organizations.

Carol is a graduate of the Emory University School of Law and was Executive Editor of the Emory Law Journal. She graduated with honors from Colgate University.

David Edwards
Senior Vice-President

David Edwards is Senior Vice-President at Purpose Built Communities (PBC), a non-profit organization dedicated to the revitalization of struggling neighborhoods.

Prior to joining PBC, David was the Global Offerings Manager for IBM’s Smarter Cities program. In that role, he was responsible for developing innovative solutions to the critical issues facing municipal and regional governments around the world.

Before joining IBM, David served for eight years as the Senior Policy Advisor to Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin. In that role, he was responsible for developing and executing the Mayor’s reform agenda. He also designed the City’s first performance management system – ATLStat. As a result of these and other initiatives, the City improved service quality, while reducing operating expenses by over 20%.

Prior to his work with the City of Atlanta, David spent eight years as a management consultant, most recently with the Boston Consulting Group. He also served as the Assistant Provost for Academic Affairs at Columbia University in New York City where he directed the strategic planning efforts of the university. He began his career in the Office of Management and Budget in the Executive Office of the President in Washington D.C., where he served as the lead White House analyst for telecommunications policy.

David’s experience also includes service as a Policy Analyst at the Export-Import Bank of the United States, a legislative assistant in the House of Commons in London, England, and as an aide in the office of U.S. Senator Lowell Weicker.

David earned bachelor’s degrees in economics and history at Franklin & Marshall College, and he holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Duke University.