professional and community service

Jess serves on a number of mission-driven boards, committees, and task forces, and volunteers her time for community and advocacy efforts. 


National Main Street Center 

Board Member, March 2018-present 

Established in 1980 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Main Street brings preservation-based economic development older and historic downtowns and commercial corridors. 


Next City 

Board of Directors: 2009-present
Board Chair: September 2012-December 2017 

Next City has a mission to inspire social, economic and environmental change in cities by creating media and events, covering leaders, policies and innovations in metropolitan regions. I oversaw two executive transitions, the move from a print magazine to solely online content, and the broadening of our focus from U.S.-only to a global reach. 


Transform, Oakland, California

Treasurer, Board of Directors: 2003-2006

TransFORM is a nonprofit organization that promotes walkable communities with excellent transportation choices to connect people of all incomes to opportunity, keep California affordable and help solve our climate crisis. 

National Building Museum 

Intelligent Cities Advisory Committee: 2010-2011 

This year-long initiative included a book, an exhibition, a national conference, and several other events to provide an interdisciplinary look at how data and information technology impact the way cities look, feel, and function. 

San Francisco Planning & Urban Research Association (SPUR) 

Board of Directors: March 2005-October 2006 | Advisory Board: October 2006-2014 

A member-supported nonprofit organization, SPUR promotes good planning and good government in the San Francisco Bay Area with research, education and advocacy. 

Association for Community Design 

Board of Directors: 2006-2009 | Board Chair: 2008-2009 

Established in 1977, the Association for Community Design (ACD) is a network of individuals, organizations, and institutions committed to increasing the capacity of planning and design professions to better serve communities. 

STAR Communities 

National Steering Committee: June 2013-October 2017 

Equity & Affordability Advisory Committee: November 2008-November 2012 

Planned since 2008, the STAR Community Rating System (STAR) is the first national certification program to recognize sustainable communities. Local leaders use STAR to assess, set targets, and measure sustainability. 

Green Building Advisory Council | Washington, DC 

Mayoral appointee: November 2012-present 

This body monitors the District’s compliance with the 2007 Green Building Act and other policies, and advises the mayor on the promotion of sustainable development for city staff, the building community, and the public.