Councillor Ben Curran, a parishioner of Sacred Heart Parish in Hillsborough, Sheffield has been announced as one of the recipients of the prestigious Marshall Memorial Fellowship 2017-18, awarded by the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
The Marshall Memorial Fellowship is German Marshall Fund’s flagship leadership development programme. It is awarded to exceptional leaders from all sectors, including business, government, and civil society. Selected fellows engage in six months of preparation designed to enhance their understanding of transatlantic relations, before embarking on twenty-four days of policy immersion across the Atlantic.
Councillor Curran was appointed Cabinet Member for Planning and Development in May after serving as Cabinet Member for Finance for nearly four years. He said, “As a big believer in lifelong learning, I am excited about the opportunity this fellowship brings. Sheffield, like many cities across the world, faces challenges around housing, climate change and the need to build a more inclusive local economy. This fellowship gives me the chance to witness first-hand how US cities are approaching these challenges, which will give me some great insights and ideas on how we can approach them here in Sheffield.
“I also believe that Sheffield becoming more globally engaged and competitive is key to securing our economic future. During the fellowship, I plan to lay the foundations for future collaboration to help Sheffield improve its global engagement and gain wider recognition in the international arena.”
Kevin Cottrell, Director of Transatlantic Leadership Initiatives at the German Marshall Fund commented, “German Marshall Fund has a long history of preparing leaders from the United States and Europe for transatlantic relations. Ben has demonstrated that he is amongst the best and brightest in UK local government and is ready to step up to a new level. We were impressed with his ambitions for global engagement, his commitment to inclusivity and his love for Sheffield.
Councillor Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council, said, “I am really pleased that Ben has been successful in applying to this prestigious fellowship and I was happy to support his application. This is a great opportunity for him to learn about cities in America and to bring forward new ideas and perspectives that can benefit Sheffield.”