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Where Are They Now? Capital City Fellows

Sydney Hawthorne- 2015 Capital City Fellow

Posted in October 2016

1.    What years did you participate in the Capital City Fellowship?
2015-2016

2.    Which agencies did you rotate in during your Fellowship?
Strategic Change, Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Office of Policy & Governmental Affairs, Department of Transportation (DDOT)

3. Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your fellowship placements.
At MPD, I provided the Strategic Change Executive Director with research memoranda on time-sensitive public safety and justice issues as they were presented before the District Council, Mayor, and Chief of Police. I also tracked pertinent legislation and helped the Executive Director prepare for relevant meetings and hearings. Throughout my rotation I developed an extensive policy review on non-mechanical noise enforcement in the District.

At DDOT I was able to further my interest in District legislation and learn about the operational side of policy. In this role I conducted policy research, drafted legislation, developed a Vision Zero grant program, and helped design a test-pilot program for personal delivery robots in the District – one of the first of its kind in the United States.

4. Where are you working now? Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your current place of employment.
I currently work as Legislative Counsel for the Council of the District of Columbia’s Committee of the Whole. In this role, I manage a legislative portfolio consisting of land use, planning, and transportation issue areas. I regularly draft legislation, write committee reports, and assist the Council Chairman at relevant meetings and hearings. To fulfil these duties, I often coordinate with District agencies and a variety of community stakeholders.

5. What did you learn from participating in the Capital City Fellowship program that you have been able to carry over to your new position?
Given the nature of my rotations, I was able to obtain a working understanding of the District’s unique legislative process, which I continue to learn about on a daily basis at the Council. The Fellowship has also allowed me to better understand the structure of the DC Government and the interplay between its branches, which has been extremely useful as Legislative Counsel. Secondly, I have made valuable contacts through the Fellowship program, including great mentors. I regularly interact with people I have met or worked with at some point in my DC Government career; having this foundational basis has been advantageous in my current role. Lastly, my rotations at MPD and DDOT solidified my longtime interest in pursuing a public service career in legislation and policy.
 

Nicole Aiken – 2014 Capital City Fellow

Posted in November 2016

1. What years did you participate in the Capital City Fellowship?
2014-2015

2.    Which agencies did you rotate in during your Fellowship?
Department of General Services (DGS)-Portfolio Division-Eastern Market   
Department of Corrections (DOC)-Correctional Treatment Facility (CTF)-Reentry Programs    

3. Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your fellowship placements.
Department of General Services (DGS)-Portfolio Division-Eastern Market: Cultivated and implemented standard operating procedures for the North Hall at Eastern Market; conceptualized, planned and implemented marketing and customer care techniques resulting in the generation of over $200,000 in rental revenue during FY15; provided onsite event venue logistic and event management support to renters; developed and managed intern workload in support of North Hall initiatives, including supervising the design of financial processes for the standard operating procedures; and, provided a needs assessment and recommendations for the implementation of event management software.

Department of Corrections (DOC)-Correctional Treatment Facility (CTF)-Reentry Programs: Assisted in the facilitation of a fall semester non-credit college program for women at the Correctional Treatment Facility (CTF) to include program proposal and implementation plan development, marketing the course, providing assistance to applicants, and developing initial program tracking documents; developed an annual report on behalf of the Office of the Deputy Warden for Programs and Case Management; conducted telephone interviews with local non-profit organizations to ensure that current information in the DOC COMPAS service providers’ section of the database was accurate; reviewed, proposed, and improved  internal event coordination processes for Reentry Programs; and, compiled, drafted, and edited reentry program marketing materials, requests for proposals, handbooks, and other internal/external documents and special projects.

 4. Where are you working now? Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your current place of employment.
Department of General Services (DGS)-Portfolio Division-Eastern Market: As the manager of the North Hall at Eastern Market, I am responsible for exercising meticulous attention to detail in scheduling over 175 events annually, maintaining the event calendar, and monitoring the production and execution of events for large and small user groups. I also support marketing and branding activities for Eastern Market, which includes-developing, planning, and executing promotional events and leading the development of print and electronic materials.

5. What did you learn from participating in the Capital City Fellowship program that you have been able to carry over to your new position?
During my time as a Capital City Fellow, I gained a great respect for public service. This has led me to ensure above all that customer care is at the forefront of the services I provide. In addition, I learned to take advantage of opportunities (you learn most when you push yourself) and to be confident in my leadership abilities.
 

Michael Beckham 2014 Capital City Fellow

Posted in November 2016

1.    What years did you participate in the Capital City Fellowship?
January, 2014 – July, 2015

2.    Which agencies did you rotate in during your Fellowship?
Board of Ethics and Government Accountability (BEGA) – Office of Government Ethics
District Department of the Environment (DDOE) – Office of Policy and Sustainability
Office of the City Administrator (OCA) – Office of Performance Management

3.    Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your fellowship placements.
In BEGA, for the Office of Government Ethics, I drafted the first complete draft Comprehensive Code of Conduct, that if adopted, will replace the Council Code of Conduct and Chapter 18 of the District Personnel Manual and apply to 30,000+ employees.  On a weekly basis, I met with senior leadership to review the draft and incorporated changes.  I also assisted the BEGA Board members and their senior attorney on matters as they arose by drafting Final Orders.

In DDOE, I drafted a proposal Environmental Justice bill that would require all District government agencies to implement an environmental justice policy to ensure the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of minority and low income populations with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of laws, regulations, and policies affecting the quality of the environment; I also conducted legislative and regulatory research to identify gaps in authority necessary to implement the District’s Sustainable DC Plan.

In OCA, I played a major role re-establishing the District’s CapSTAT program by: (i) collaboratively working with agencies to collect and analyze their data to identify issues with performance; and (ii) creating presentations showcasing findings which were used to help facilitate discussion of topics at the highest levels in the Administration.

4.    Where are you working now? Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your current place of employment.
Currently, I work in the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) in the Office of the Director as a policy analyst where I am leading a review of all of DPR’s internal and external policies (40+); liaise with Council, OPLA, and DME regarding legislative and policy matters; draft proposal legislation; assist agency programs with spending plan formulation and tracking, as well as, KPI performance tracking.  I also developed the District’s first-ever Urban Beekeeping Program from inception to launce which provides residents the opportunity to maintain honeybee hives on District government property.

5.    What did you learn from participating in the Capital City Fellowship program that you have been able to carry over to your new position?
I learned the importance of building a network of closely trusted colleagues; and being a resource to others because I frequently rely on the network of fellows to find answers and problem solve.
 

Jennifer Skow – 2014 Capital City Fellow

Posted in November 2016

1.    What years did you participate in the Capital City Fellowship?
2014 – 2015

2.    Which agencies did you rotate in during your Fellowship?
Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR)
Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD)
Office of Planning (OP)
Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED)

3.    Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your fellowship placements.

DPR: I worked in the Capital Projects and Planning team on a vision framework, which guides the capital and operational investment in the District. As part of this process, I developed a strategic planning framework for small parks (under 1 acre).

DHCD: Within the Office of the Director, I analyzed and recommended policy changes to incorporate green building incentives within the Request for Proposal process, served on a panel to select Storefront Improvement Façade Grantees, provided policy analysis and best practice research for vacant properties under DHCD’s purview, and authored a white paper on how the Agency could grow nonprofit capacity.

OP: I worked in the Citywide Planning division focused on affordable housing and community economic development. I was the lead author and analyst on a report entitled Pairing Low-Income Housing Tax Credits with Historic Tax Credits. The report was written to assist housing developers to better understand the supply of historic stock in the District of Columbia, help navigate the historic tax credit program, and highlight the challenges and benefits gained from pairing historic rehabilitation tax credits with low-income housing tax credits. The report was published and presented at a half-day educational seminar hosted by the Coalition for Non-Profit Housing and Economic Development. I also co-authored a white paper on implications and recommendation strategies for affordable manufacturing spaces.

DMPED: Within the Real Estate Division, I assisted with project management duties on the New Communities Initiative, a program designed to revitalize severely distressed subsidized housing and redevelop neighborhoods into vibrant mixed-income communities. I also prepared a financial analysis of one of the Agency’s facility assets.

4.    Where are you working now? Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your current place of employment.
After the fellowship, I spent a year at DHCD leading the District’s Consolidated Plan update, a 5-year vision document for how the District spends its federal entitlement resources. The document is a requirement to receive roughly $280 million over 5 years from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Now, I work as a Real Estate Project Manager for the Alexandria Housing Development Corporation (AHDC), a private nonprofit developer that focuses solely on affordable housing development in the City of Alexandria. Responsibilities include coordinating the acquisition, financing, pre-development, and construction of projects in AHDC’s pipeline.

5. What did you learn from participating in the Capital City Fellowship program that you have been able to carry over to your new position?
My time as a fellow was critical in helping me prepare for the position I had immediately following the program as well as my current role. The exposure to numerous agencies and District Government initiatives was priceless, helping me build a rounded experience from a wide range of perspectives. I learned project management at DMPED, zoning and policy analysis at OP, and program evaluation at DHCD. Through these experiences, I became a stronger developer, better understanding the local regulatory environment, what makes strong funding proposals, and how affordable housing development can play a larger role in community revitalization efforts. I have and will continue to approach my work with collaboration and open-mindedness instilled in us from the program and learned from the unique rotational opportunities - experiences that, without the Capital City Fellows Program, I likely would not have been exposed to so quickly.  
 

Tyessen Smith- 2014 Capital City Fellow

Posted in November 2016

1. What years did you participate in the Capital City Fellowship?
I participated in the program from October 2014-2016

2.    Which agencies did you rotate in during your Fellowship?
•    DOH-Department of Health in their Community Health Administration Department
•    DME-Deputy Mayor of Education Office-My School DC Department
•    OSSE-Office of State Superintendent of Education -I took on a special project in their Data department (3 weeks)
•    DCHR-DC Human Resources Department-Benefits Department (3 months)
•    DCHR-DC Human Resources Department-CLD division (2 months)

3. Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your fellowship placements.
•    DOH-I worked in the Communication’s Department and I worked on Internal communication process and flow. Developed policies and procedures when addressing internal delivery of communication, along with flow charts.  The responsibilities included focus groups, I provided the very first Communications report for the agency along with recommendations.  The report was then turned into a prezi that was presented to all 5 bureaus.
•    DME-I worked with My School DC in preparing focus groups for all 8 wards.  It was my job to secure the marketing materials, language, tracking and question survey together for assessment.  I analyzed the data and interpreted the results in a report as well as reported out to all Local Education Groups.  I also completed Co-located concept papers for DME for review by the Mayor. In addition, I wrote a Best-Practice Co-located paper in which discussed other cities approach in co-locating education campuses.
•    OSSE- I tracked and assembled DCPS data on DC’s 2012 graduating cohort.  It was a very tedious but rewarding process.
•    DCHR-I worked in the Benefits department helping employees understand the difference between the packages, worked on a Comprehensive Wellness Handbook for the agency.  
•    DCHR-CLD- I worked with Mrs. Robertson with creating Project Management Timelines and Performance Plans for the CPM and CCF programs.

4. Where are you working now? Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your current place of employment.
•    I have secured a permanent placement at the Department of Parks & Recreation as a Special Assistant to the Director and Chief of Staff. My responsibilities are simply to manage leaderships time efficiently.  I manage them (as much as they let me).  I also take on special projects such as sit and provide information within meetings on my leaderships behalf, communicate to the CA and Mayor’s office, as well as ensure that all of their administrative and constituent concerns are met with solutions. That’s the bulk.

5. What did you learn from participating in the Capital City Fellowship program that you have been able to carry over to your new position?
•    I learned so much from this program that it has been extremely invaluable in my current role.  Networking component that Mrs. Robertson encourages during the program will indeed assist you in the “permanent” work that you do.  
•    Obtain a professional Mentor is essential in creating the professional you seek to become.  I utilized Mrs. Robertson heavily, she should charge me a counseling fee (lol).  However, it was extremely beneficial to the strong independent employee I am today.
•    Opportunity-I had the opportunity to make mistakes and fix them and sometimes in government you may not get second chances, in this program they are aware of your skill experiences and work with you to fix the glitch.  As Capital City Fellows, you stand on the work of others before you, so mistakes rarely occur because the reputation of the program forces you (in a good way) to not only get it right but map out how it will work for them doing it your way.
 

Polina Bakhteiarov– 2011 Capital City Fellow

Posted in March 2015

1. What years did you participate in the Capital City Fellowship?
2011-2013

2. Which agencies did you rotate in during your Fellowship?
District Department of the Environment (DDOE)
Fire and EMS Department (FEMS)
Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED)

3. Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your fellowship placements.
DDOE: Served as project manager on Mayor’s 20-year comprehensive sustainability initiative (sustainable.dc.gov) as part of 4-person inter-agency team; planned and executed public participation process of in-person, phone and virtual touch points with 1600+ stakeholders; led 50-member working group to propose vision statement, goals, action items and performance indicators that address sustainability of natural systems, open space/parks, wildlife, habitat and biodiversity

FEMS: Led 5-person team in designing and launching data-driven performance management/resource allocation system; expanded quantitative analysis methodology to assess risk, service delivery and unit performance; collaborated with senior managers to correct, streamline and execute reporting of agency performance plan elements, including key performance indicators and workload measures

DMPED: Served as project manager on $400M+ real estate and economic development portfolio, including 183-acre St. Elizabeths East Campus (tech & innovation focus), 66-acre former Walter Reed Army Medical Center (sustainability focus) and 18-acre Skyland Town Center (retail & restaurant focus); led “front burner” special projects for Chief of Staff, including (1) business process re-engineering and data governance solution development for citywide affordable housing projects, and (2) aggregation, structuring and analysis of production, preservation and leveraging data to execute Mayor's vision to preserve and produce 10,000 affordable housing units by 2020; supported internal processes, including budget planning and formulation, contracting, grant/loan making and data analytics, including development of Deputy Mayor's Dashboard to ensure data-driven policymaking for best use of public resources

4. Where are you working now? Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your current place of employment.
I’m still at DMPED, where I serve as the Great Streets Manager, leading the District of Columbia’s commercial revitalization initiative - “Great Streets” - to transform emerging corridors into thriving and inviting neighborhood centers that are a magnet for private investment. I formulate, execute, and evaluate the District’s commercial investment strategy of small business development, corridor-level anchor assets, and cross-sector partnerships.

5. What did you learn from participating in the Capital City Fellowship program that you have been able to carry over to your new position?
The most valuable aspect of the program is the network that you build as a Fellow because you have access to such a broad spectrum of government officials, all the way up to the Mayor, City Administrator, and Deputy Mayors. The diversity of agencies through which I was able to rotate allowed me to learn about how government functions, and how to approach the same challenges from various priority systems. Finally, always being held to a standard of excellence as a Fellow has allowed me to emerge as a leader in my current agency.

Alexandra Caceres – 2011 Capital City Fellow

Posted in March 2015

1. What years did you participate in the Capital City Fellowship?
2011-2013

2. Which agencies did you rotate in during your Fellowship?
DC Public Schools (DCPS)
Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice (DMPSJ)
Office of Justice Grants Administration and Victim Services (JGA/OVS)

3. Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your fellowship placements.
DCPS – Worked on developing and advancing the District’s STEM vision and manages a hybrid-learning math intervention program.
DMPSJ – Served as policy and legislative analyst in establishing the Correction Information Council.
JGA/OVS – Developed and launched the Show Up, Stand Out attendance improvement program that addresses

4. Where are you working now? Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your current place of employment.
JGA/OVS – I am currently the Program Director for Show Up, Stand Out. I am responsible for the development and execution of the program across over 50 DC public and public charter schools.

5. What did you learn from participating in the Capital City Fellowship program that you have been able to carry over to your new position?
As a Capital City Fellow I had direct access to many high-level city officials that provided great insight to my professional and personal development. Even as a former Fellow, I have been able to take advantage of the growing network of folks that have a variety of perspectives in the program and that partner with the program. I do believe that I would be in a different place in my career had I not been given the opportunity to explore DC Government as a Capital City Fellow.

Lee Goldstein – 2013 Capital City Fellow

Posted in March 2015

Project Manager: Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development

1. What years did you participate in the Capital City Fellowship?
2013-2014.

2. Which agencies did you rotate in during your Fellowship?
Office of Planning (OP)
Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD)
Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED).

3. Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your fellowship placements.
As I Fellow, I worked on urban planning initiatives, including Sustainable DC and the New Communities Initiative, as well as the District’s pipeline of affordable housing. I served in a variety of roles, including community outreach, policy formulation, data collection and analysis, grant management, and communications work. My assignments included preparing briefing memos for senior staff, organizing and facilitating outreach events, developing and managing digital media outlets, performing research on best practices, preparing presentations for City Council and community associations, and making recommendations for improvements to agency operations. 

4. Where are you working now? Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your current place of employment.
As a Project Manager, I manage a portfolio of real estate projects for the city. This involves every aspect of the development process, from identifying a parcel of land for development, to selecting a development team, reviewing and managing predevelopment and architectural drawings, shepherding projects through the city’s zoning process, negotiating a financing structure and reviewing budgets, and managing the community outreach process. My day to day work involves writing and reviewing solicitations for development projects, evaluating responses, and working with development teams to negotiate the disposition, financing, and development of public land. I also structure and manage timelines for project milestones, perform site visits, and problem-solve challenges that arise during the development process. 

5. What did you learn from participating in the Capital City Fellowship program that you have been able to carry over to your new position?
First, the rotational aspect of the Capital City Fellows program prepares you to work across disciplines and manage processes or contribute to initiatives that impact multiple agencies. The development process necessitates interaction with a number of different agencies and stakeholders, and I use my contacts and my rotational experiences to improve interagency coordination and collaboration. Through the Fellowship, I learned a lot about the different neighborhoods and the major stakeholders that impact the planning and development process, and is a framework that helps guide my projects.  The Fellowship also teaches you how to prioritize and strategize around time sensitive projects that may have multiple, often contradicting needs or priorities. Through the exposure to complex challenges in the Fellowship, I am better prepared to ultimately come up with creative solutions to challenges that meet both policy goals and community needs, while managing both the risk and the fiduciary responsibility of the District.

Lee Hagy – 2012 Capital City Fellow

Posted in March 2015

1. What years did you participate in the Capital City Fellowship?
      2012-2014

2. Which agencies did you rotate in during your Fellowship?
I rotated in the Mayor’s Office of Budget and Finance, the Office of Boards and Commissions (now the Mayor’s Office of Talent and Appointments), the Office of the Attorney General, and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services.

3. Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your fellowship placements.

  1. Mayor’s Office of Budget and Finance (October 2012-April 2013): Assisted Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s Capital Budget Director with the development of the FY 2014 - FY 2019 Capital Improvements Plan, including tracking the enhancement requests of agencies and analyzing score sheets for directors to prioritize enhancement requests.
     
  2. Office of Boards and Commissions  (April 2013-October 2013): Drafted Boards and Commissions Reform Act of 2013 (B20-17) revisions; Oversaw updates to the office’s website; Proposed recommendations for the creation of a new District Statehood Commission; Drafted Mayor’s Orders; Assisted with FOIA requests.
     
  3. Office of the Attorney General, Equity Section (October 2013-April 2014): Assisted staff attorneys with the defense of constitutional litigation brought against the District; Worked with the Taxicab Commission General Counsel to challenge two TRO’s and Preliminary Injunctions by co-drafting a 50-page opposition motion; Completed multiple FOIA requests; Attended mediation sessions; Drafted discovery requests.
     
  4. Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services (April 2014-November 2014): Acting office lead for the affordable housing and homeless services portfolio. 

4. Where are you working now? Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your current place of employment.
I am working as a Program Analyst on issues pertaining to human services.

5. What did you learn from participating in the Capital City Fellowship program that you have been able to carry over to your new position?
Through the Capital City Fellowship, I learned a great deal about the operations of municipal government agencies and about the history of my hometown of Washington, D.C.  My experiences taught me about budget, legal, and operations concerns that all of the agencies must address on a daily basis.  This experience provided me with knowledge that I have carried over into my current position and will utilize throughout my career in public service.

Sasha Hammond-Lee – 2012 Capital City Fellow

Posted in March 2015

1. What years did you participate in the Capital City Fellowship?
I served as a Capital City beginning in April 2012 thru May 2014.

2. Which agencies did you rotate in during your Fellowship?
D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities
Department of Small and Local Business Development
Mayor’s Office of Budget and Finance
Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development

3. Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your fellowship placements.

  • D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities: Conducted analysis and planned events in support of grants administration, community outreach, inter-agency coordination, grant compliance, and strategic planning for creative programs.
  • Department of Small and Local Business Development: Provided administrative and operational support to performance management and strategic initiatives.
  • Mayor’s Office of Budget and Finance: Supplied strategic direction and planning in support of the Capital Improvements Program.
  • Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development: Conducted analysis and planning in operations, real estate, community outreach, marketing, evaluation, metrics development, inter-agency coordination, compliance, and strategic development for the Great Streets program.

4. Where are you working now? Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your current place of employment.
I currently serve as a management analyst at the Office of the Inspector General in the Inspections and Evaluations Division. I plan, organize and conduct management, organizational and operational analysis activities for D.C. Government agencies, offices, programs and specific issues affecting local residents.

5. What did you learn from participating in the Capital City Fellowship program that you have been able to carry over to your new position?
The fellowship allowed me to enhance my public service values, leadership skills, and managerial abilities. I gained on-the-job training in analyzing issues and providing actionable solutions for a wide variety of operational and strategic problems that affect many state and municipal governments. The experience that I have gained from working at various levels of D.C. Government and with external stakeholders has really given me a unique perspective on how to resolve public sector issues.

Christina Harper – 2012 Capital City Fellow

Posted in April 2014

1. What years did you participate in the Capital City Fellowship?
November 2012 – February 2014

2. Which agencies did you rotate in during your Fellowship?
Deputy Mayor for Education (DME)
Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO)

3. Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your fellowship placements.
My fellowship included a five-month rotation in the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education (DME). As a fellow with the DME, my responsibilities included managing external affairs and communications for the District’s Raise DC initiative. I also handled various social media functions on behalf of the Office. During my tenure, we established a solid, consistent social media and communications presence and doubled online followers. In addition, I have made recommendations for an internal technology and civic engagement plan to further boost the Office’s digital presence and sharing of information. I also drafted a proposed plan to attend to the needs of disconnected youth on behalf of the Deputy Mayor, for submission for consider by the mayor.

My fellowship included a six-month rotation with the Connect.DC – Digital Inclusion team, in the Office of the Chief Technology Officer. In this role, I managed special projects relating to Internet affordability and Internet accessibility. I also managed the department’s social media and marketing for events and external affairs.  

4. Where are you working now? Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your current place of employment.
I am now a Project Analyst for the Office of the Chief Technology Officer on the Digital Inclusion team, Connect.DC at the Government of the District of Columbia. In this role, I am responsible for the creation of tools and programs that make technology easier to use, more accessible, more affordable, and more relevant to the everyday lives of District residents and community institutions. I also serve in a validation role for the Agency’s Federal Grants.  In this role, I help confirm the accuracy of all reports before submission.

5. What did you learn from participating in the Capital City Fellowship program that you have been able to carry over to your new position?
My time as a fellow was influential in preparing me for a position with the Office of the Chief Technology Officer. My familiarity with DC Government gave me the insight and skills needed to land this role. Furthermore, the knowledge learned through CCF professional development sessions and presentations amongst other fellows allowed me to connect my work with other happenings in the District.
 


Jonathan Rogers – 2012 Capital City Fellow

Posted in April 2014

1. What years did you participate in the Capital City Fellowship?
April 2012 through October 2012

2. Which agencies did you rotate in during your Fellowship?
Mayor’s Office of Budget and Finance

3. Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your fellowship placements.
My fellowship included a six-month rotation in the Mayor's Office of Budget and Finance, in the Executive Office of the Mayor. In this role, I assisted the Director of the Capital Improvements Program. Broadly, I contributed to the office's activity in advising the Mayor on financial and budgetary operations of the District government, assisted the Mayor in the formulation of the annual operating and capital budgets for the District government, and monitored agency budget performance during the fiscal year.

4. Where are you working now? Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your current place of employment.
After working full-time for over two years at the Mayor’s Office of Budget and Finance, I moved to a position at the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) in 2014. As a Policy Analyst in DDOT’s Policy, Planning, and Sustainability Administration I formulate policies and regulatory proposals that pertain to the development of transportation systems for the District of Columbia, with particular emphasis on a multi-modal comprehensive approach. I research and draft innovative policies and programs that balance public and private sector needs, and contribute to long-term policies and plans through quantitative and qualitative research and analysis of transportation, land-use, economic, social, and environmental trends. Recently I have focused on the District’s Vision Zero action plan to reduce annual traffic fatalities to zero. While at DDOT, I was also detailed to then Mayor-Elect Muriel Bowser’s Transition Team as a budget analyst.

5. What did you learn from participating in the Capital City Fellowship program that you have been able to carry over to your new position?
My time as a Fellow was critical in preparing me for both of the permanent positions I have now held with the District Government. As a Fellow, my exposure to numerous agencies and initiatives throughout the District Government, and participation in the budget formulation and execution processes, were priceless experiences that I could not have enjoyed elsewhere. Without gaining the tangible skills the fellowship provided, I would not have been qualified for the positions I was eventually offered. The Fellowship provided me with a context and an understanding of District Government that is still making me a more effective analyst today.
 


Mamadou Samba – 2011 Capital City Fellow

Posted in March 2014

1. What years did you participate in the Capital City Fellowship?
2011 - 2013

2. Which agencies did you rotate in during your Fellowship?
Executive Office of the Mayor- Office on African Affairs
Office of the Chief Financial Officer – Office of Budget and Planning
Department of General Services – Energy & Sustainability
Office of the Chief Financial Officer – Office of Budget and Planning

3. Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your fellowship placements.
Overall, my responsibilities in my placements involved serving as a communication specialist in the Office on African Affairs, where I worked on several projects and produced a report; serving in the project management team at the Department of General Services on projects to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent over 20 months in the District, and acting as a Capital Budget Analyst in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, where I was retained as a permanent staff member.

4. Where are you working now? Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your current place of employment.
I am currently serving as a Capital Budget Administration Analyst for the Office of the Chief Financial Officer – Office of Budget and Planning, where I am responsible for the formulation and execution of a specific area of the District’s Capital Improvements Plan budget.   I also serve on the Commission on African Affairs as a public voting member for a term expiring in 2016. 

5. What did you learn from participating in the Capital City Fellowship program that you have been able to carry over to your new position?
Leadership skills and the importance of collaboration are the two main things I have learned from participating in the Capital City Fellowship.  These skills have been instrumental in my existing position, particularly since the job involves working in close collaboration with other agencies, programs, the Council of the District and the Mayor’s budget staff.

Mamadou Samba was appointed by Mayor Muriel Bowser in January 2015 to serve as the Director of the Mayor’s Office of African Affairs.  He is responsible for implementing robust programs aimed a improving the lives of African immigrants in the District.


Stacie West – 2012 Capital City Fellow

Posted in March 2014

1. What years did you participate in the Capital City Fellowship?
2012-2013

2. Which agencies did you rotate in during your Fellowship?
District Department of the Environment – Office of Policy and Sustainability
Department of Parks and Recreation – Office of Planning and Capital Projects

3. Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your fellowship placements.
At the District Department of the Environment (DDOE), I worked on a small team (from both DDOE and the Office of Planning) responsible for developing the Mayor's Sustainable DC Plan. The plan sets ambitious goals across the city and among many subject matters that touch everyone in an effort to make DC the healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the US.

At the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), I joined the Capital Projects and Planning team and immediately jumped into Play DC, a mayoral initiative to renovate all of the District's playgrounds. DPR also launched a Master Plan process during my time as a fellow and I provided support to the team working on developing the plan, which will guide capital and operational investment and decision making over the next 15 years.

4. Where are you working now? Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your current place of employment.
I am now employed with DPR as a Community Planner. I was hired out of my time as a fellow at DPR and continue to work on the same projects that I started on but with a little more longevity and responsibility. I now help lead the Master Plan effort and rather than assisting with developing capital projects, I lead in their development by overseeing design and construction on several playgrounds and a recreation center. I also serve as a DPR point of contact for Sustainable DC; it's rewarding to continue to work on this project from another angle.

5. What did you learn from participating in the Capital City Fellowship program that you have been able to carry over to your new position?
Many things! Most importantly, I think I learned to be an advocate for myself and to not be afraid to ask to be involved where I thought I could contribute. There are many exciting, innovative things going on in the District right now, and the Fellows program helped me build up both my technical skill set and my leadership skill set so that I feel prepared to get involved in the great work being done.
 

Ted Van Houten – 2014 Capital City Fellow

Posted in March 2015

1. What years did you participate in the Capital City Fellowship?
January 2014 – January 2015

2. Which agencies did you rotate in during your Fellowship?
District Department of Transportation – Progressive Transportation Services Administration
Executive Office of the Mayor – Office of Budget and Finance

3. Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your fellowship placements.
At the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), I worked with the team supporting the DC Circulator. We worked on updating the Circulator’s Transit Development Plan and the route expansion to the National Mall. I was also tasked with oversight of the Circulator’s operator, and coordinated meetings between them, DDOT, and WMATA. Other duties included reviewing development review cases and providing comments on transit impacts, oversight of vehicle acceptance procedures for the DC Streetcar, conducting research on transit governance around the country, and supervising interns from the Summer Youth Employment Program.

At the Office of Budget and Finance, I assisted the Director of the Capital Improvements Program (CIP) in preparing reprogramming requests for capital projects for a variety of District government agencies. I also served on the Capital Budget Team (CBT), attended CIP meetings, tracked capital project enhancement requests from agencies, and worked with CBT members to provide feedback on capital budget requests. I also assisted the Department of General Services with their efforts in researching the feasibility of opening small housing developments to house homeless residents, contributing to the effort to close the shelter at the DC General Hospital campus.

4. Where are you working now? Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your current place of employment.
I am the Western area planner in the Strategic Planning Branch in the DDOT’s Policy, Planning & Sustainability Administration. Our branch focuses on neighborhood short- and long-range transportation planning efforts, including corridor studies, neighborhood livability studies, and implementation of moveDC, DDOT’s multi-modal long-range transportation vision for the District of Columbia. My area of the District encompasses Ward 3, the portion of Ward 4 west of Rock Creek Park, and the Ward 2 neighborhoods of Georgetown, Kalorama, and Burleith. I’m also involved in supporting development review activities, transportation service requests, operations issues, and capital improvements in my area, although these requests are usually implemented by other areas of DDOT.

5. What did you learn from participating in the Capital City Fellowship program that you have been able to carry over to your new position?
The Capital City Fellows Program gave me my first substantial public sector experience. I was already familiar with the neighborhoods and transportation networks of the District as a resident of this area for several years, but my experience as a Fellow at DDOT enhanced this knowledge and gave me the opportunity to gain a new perspective. I never had budget experience before entering the Fellows program, and during my rotation in the budget office, I was able to gain valuable experience in learning how a municipal budget operates. The unique situation that Fellows are given allowed me to gain this experience, and I never would have had access to it without the program. The Fellows program has broadened my experience, allowed me to gain new skills, and made major contributions to my professional growth.