Jim Brainard is Carmel, Indiana's first seven-term mayor and is one of the longest serving mayors in the United States. Under his tenure, Carmel’s population has grown from 25,000 to more than 105,000. He is frequently asked to speak on city planning, climate change, redevelopment and transportation networks. A city that was once on the cusp of suburban sprawl, Carmel has been transformed under the Mayor’s leadership into a vibrant, walkable and sustainable city. The Mayor combined smart land-use planning, pioneered the use of financial modeling to impact zoning decisions and secured public-private partnerships to redevelop under-utilized land and create a city that is often listed as the Best Place to live, work and play in America.
Mayor Brainard has also been a champion for the construction of roundabouts to replace traditional signalized intersections and four-way stops in Carmel, which has resulted in a more efficient transportation network, reduced vehicle emissions and safety. Notably, with its network of more than 145 roundabouts, Carmel’s fatality rate is one of the lowest in the country for a city its size. Accidents with injury were also reduced by almost 80 percent at intersections that were once controlled by traffic lights or stop signs. Carmel has more roundabouts than any city in America.
Mayor Brainard was appointed by President Barak Obama to serve on the U. S. Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. He is a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Local Government Advisory Committee, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Board of Directors, the International Making Cities Livable Advisory Board, and Trustee for the U. S. Conference of Mayors.
Mayor Brainard earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from Butler University and Doctor of Jurisprudence from Ohio Northern University. He also received a diploma from the Oxford Institute on International and Comparative Law from the University of San Diego.