Dr. Mark Funkhouser is the Director of the Governing Institute. Prior to that, he was mayor of Kansas City, Missouri from 2007 to 2011. Funkhouser was the first government professional ever elected by Kansas Citians to serve as their mayor. During his controversial term he relied heavily on his experience and training in public finance to lead the city back from the brink of bankruptcy. When he left office, the city’s finances were in the best shape they had been in over a decade, a feat accomplished in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression.
Bob Graves. M.S., associate director of the Governing Institute, is the designated content curator for the FutureStructure initiative and also a co-founder of e.Republic, the parent organization of Governing. As associate director, Graves writes, presents, moderates and provides advice on smart and sustainable approaches to water, waste, energy, transportation and building systems drawing from his more than 25 years of experience working with private sector companies, nonprofits and state and local governments.
In the 1980s as a co-founder of e.Republic, Graves was instrumental in establishing the Government Technology event and publishing divisions of the company. These divisions expanded rapidly from a single Government Technology Conference in Sacramento, California (1987) to scores of regional and local conferences and print and online publications providing news, in-depth articles, and research to hundreds of governments agencies and IT companies across the country. He also served as its Chief Administrative Officer and president, ensuring that the company's organization kept pace with its growth into new sectors of research and online publishing.
In 2006 capitalizing on his academic training in environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Graves co-founded and served as president and editor-at-large of Green Technology, a California based nonprofit publishing organization providing strategy and leadership for clean and sustainable communities. Bob helped produce three international "Governors' Global Climate Summits" with a team from then California Governor Schwarzenegger's office. He has also headed the production of numerous conferences on green technology, moderated roundtables on high performance buildings and guided training activities for over 5,000 government building officials and design/construction professionals on CALGreen - California's new green building code.