Shirley Clarke Franklin (born May 10, 1945) is an American politician, a member of the Democratic Party, and, since January 7, 2002, the mayor of Atlanta, Georgia. The 58th mayor of Atlanta, she was the first female to hold the post and became the first black woman to be elected mayor of any major Southern city. Franklin is the fourth black mayor of Atlanta, the latest in a line of African American mayors that stretches back to 1974. Mayor Franklin has been appointed to an ad hoc Department of Homeland Security special task force along with Frances Townsend and Judge William H. Webster for 60-day review of the Homeland Security Advisory System as of mid July 2009.
Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Franklin received her B.A. in sociology from Howard University and her M.A., also in sociology, from the University of Pennsylvania. She is an Honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Franklin served as the Commissioner of Cultural Affairs under Mayor Maynard Jackson. Subsequently, she was named Chief Administrative Officer and City Manager under Mayor Andrew Young.