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Current Capital City Fellows

Jessica Berdan

 

Jordan Chafetz

 

Elizabeth Corcoran

 

Aaron Everhart

 

Sophie Feldman

 

Kathleen Miskovsky

 

Folashade Oladipo

 

Devonte Peterson

 

Vernice Puryear

 

Jordyn Seide

 

Genevera Smith

 

 

 

Jessica Berdan


Hometown: Potomac, MD
Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Maryland College Park, Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Graduate School and Degree: University of District of Columbia, Master of Business Administration
1st Rotation: Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development
Fellow Bio: Jessica is currently in her first rotation at the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. She is working with the Economic Intelligence and Inter-Agency Affairs team on affordable housing financing & policy, the Federal Opportunity Zone tax incentives, and budgetary tasks, as well as, working with the Grants Team on process improvement and grantee tracking. Before becoming a Capital City Fellow, she took part in the District Leadership Program as an intern for the Department of General Services. As an intern, Jessica worked on several projects, including spearheading a comprehensive audit and contributing to process improvement projects to achieve agency-wide personnel compliance. Jessica also worked for the University of the District of Columbia under the Associate Dean of the School of Business and Public Administration. She was responsible for creating benchmarks and performance management metrics to inform the faculty and the Board of Trustees.
Favorite thing to do in DC: Running along Georgetown Waterfront Park, grabbing fresh fish at the Wharf to inspire a new homemade creation, and watching the sunrise at the Lincoln Memorial.
Favorite Quote: “Take time to deliberate. But when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go. Nothing is more difficult and therefore more precious than to be able to decide.”  – Napoléon Bonaparte

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Jordan Chafetz

Hometown: Falls Church, VA
Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Virginia, Bachelor of Arts in History
Graduate School and Degree: University of Pennsylvania, Master of City and Regional Planning
1st Rotation: Office of Planning
Fellow Bio: Jordan is currently in her first rotation at the Office of Planning, where she is working with teams on the Comprehensive Plan update, the Mayor’s Housing Framework for Equity and Growth, and Census 2020. Jordan has her Master’s in City Planning and a certificate in GIS & Spatial Analysis from the University of Pennsylvania. She is passionate about the use of data analysis and visualization to empower communities and inform decision-making processes. Before the Capital City Fellows program, Jordan was a Research Analyst at Smart Growth America, where she conducted technical assistance for communities around the country and contributed to reports on subjects such as pedestrian safety and the economic impact of walkability. During graduate school, Jordan interned at WRT in Philadelphia, where she worked on several HUD Choice Neighborhood Plans. Before her transition to planning, Jordan worked in telecommunications policy in Washington, DC.

Favorite thing to do in DC: Walking with my dog in Rock Creek Park and going to Nationals games.
Favorite Quote: “Nothing will work unless you do.” – Maya Angelou

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Elizabeth (Lizzie) Corcoran

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Undergraduate School and Degree: Saint Louis University, Bachelor of Science in Public Health and International Studies
Graduate School and Degree: Saint Louis University, Master of Public Health
1st Rotation: Office of the City Administrator - Office of Budget and Performance Management
Fellow Bio: Lizzie is currently in her first rotation in the Office of Budget and Performance Management for the Office of the City Administrator. She is passionate about the systems and conditions that create healthy, thriving communities. Lizzie is an alumna of the College for Public Health and Social Justice of Saint Louis University, earning both her Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in public health. During her education, Lizzie worked in the public schools of St. Louis, where her interest in public service and public institutions was born. Upon graduation, Lizzie moved to Washington, DC to work for the de Beaumont Foundation, a public health philanthropy, as a Fellow, then Special Assistant to the CEO. She is eager to apply a generalist skill set of project management and problem solving to the issues of food justice, affordable housing, and equitable transportation. Lizzie is eager to continue pursuing public health and social justice through public service to DC residents.
Favorite thing to do in DC: Drum circle in Malcolm X park, Sunday nights all summer!
Favorite Quote: “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – Albus Dumbledore/ JK Rowling

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Aaron Everhart

Hometown: Inman, SC
Undergraduate School and Degree: Winthrop University, Bachelor of Arts in English, History, and Philosophy & Religious Studies
Graduate School and Degree: Cornell Law School, Juris Doctorate
1st Rotation: DC Works: Workforce Investment Council
Fellow Bio: Aaron is currently in his first rotation at the DC Works: Workforce Investment Council. He grew up in Inman, South Carolina, where his family still lives. Aaron attended Winthrop University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts. After a few years of being out of school, he decided to get his Juris Doctorate and attended Cornell Law School, where he graduated in 2019. Prior to becoming a Capital City Fellow, Aaron spent time working in capital punishment defense and working for a private firm.

Favorite thing to do in DC: Trying new restaurants in the District.
Favorite Quote: “First, we must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.” – Martin Luther King, Jr

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Sophie Feldman

Hometown: Washington, DC
Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Pennsylvania, Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies
Graduate School and Degree: Harvard University, Master of Public Policy
1st Rotation: Office of the City Administrator, Internal Services
Fellow Bio: Sophie is currently in her first rotation with the Internal Services (IS) team, based out of the Office of the City Administrator. In this role, Sophie helps oversee a cluster of agencies. Specifically, she is involved with tracking legislation related to IS agencies, budget formulation for IS agencies, and shepherding a growing number of environmental projects that have ramifications for IS agencies. Prior to being a Capital City Fellow and graduate student, Sophie worked for the nation’s largest municipal affordable housing agency, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, where she helped manage a portfolio of affordable cooperatives.

Favorite thing to do in DC:  Sophie is always looking for a new bookstore to browse; suggestions welcome.
Favorite Quote: Winnie the Pooh: What day is it?
Piglet: It’s today.
Winnie the Pooh: My favorite day.

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Kathleen Miskovsky

Hometown: Washington, DC
Undergraduate School and Degree: George Mason University, Bachelor of Arts in Government and International Relations
Graduate School and Degree: Catholic University Columbus School of Law, Juris Doctorate
1st Rotation: District Department of Transportation, Transit Delivery Division
Fellow Bio: Kathleen is in her first rotation at the District Department of Transportation (DDOT). At DDOT, Kathleen is working with the Transit Delivery Division on a number of projects, including ones involving bus priority, bus stop spacing, and transit subsidy programs. Kathleen previously taught English abroad and worked full time for a real estate developer while attending law school at night. Kathleen grew up in and around the District and is passionate about making the District a sustainable, vibrant place for everyone.
Favorite thing to do in DC: Take the bus (or Metro) everywhere!
Favorite Quote: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

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Folashade Oladipo

Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria
Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Lagos, Nigeria, Bachelor of Science Education in Biology
Graduate School and Degree: American University Washington College of Law, Juris Doctor
1st Rotation: District Department of Transportation, Performance Team
Fellow Bio: Folashade is currently in her first rotation at District Department of Transportation where she works with the Performance Team, on the Vision Zero Initiative. She reviews legislation related to the Vision Zero Initiative and creates resource guides, which project teams can use in fulfilling performance objectives. Similarly, she conducts data management and business analytics of various transportation databases to provide insights on improving the multimodal transportation system in the District. Additionally, she is conducting comparative analysis from other jurisdictions to advise the Vision Zero teams on the optimal locations for Automated Traffic Enforcement, as well as to identify the correlation between repeat offenders and high crash rates. Prior to becoming a Capital City Fellow, Folashade worked in the retail banking sector where she worked on launching the first biometric verification number system in Nigeria. More recently, she worked at an international economic development non-profit in the District where she drafted a policy document for harmonizing the formal and informal agricultural systems in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Folashade is passionate about community and human capital development.
Favorite thing to do in DC: Checking out the new attractions and events and visiting museums.
Favorite Quote: “It always seems impossible until it's done.” – Nelson Mandela

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Devonte Peterson

Hometown: Washington, DC
Undergraduate School and Degree: Coastal Carolina University, Bachelor of Arts in Communication
Graduate School and Degree: American University, Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
1st Rotation: Department of Human Resources, Center for Learning and Development
Fellow Bio: Devonte is currently in his first rotation at the Department of Human Resources (DCHR), where he works with the Center for Learning and Development team. He records data for the number of training that takes place in the Center for Learning and Development. Devonte also serves as the timekeeping coordinator for two District-wide internships housed in DCHR (District Leadership Program and High School Leadership Institute). Before the Capital City Fellows program, Devonte was in the District Leadership Program, where he interned at the Department of Health for one year and the DCHR for another. Devonte is passionate about providing astounding service to District residents and pouring into the city that poured into him.
Favorite thing to do in DC: Attending “Pop-up shops” to support small and local businesses in DC. You can also find me in a restaurant enjoying great food while listening to a live band in a small and intimate setting.
Favorite Quote: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” -Marianne Williamson

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Vernice C. Puryear

Hometown: Washington, DC
Undergraduate School and Degree: Delaware State University, Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
Graduate School and Degree: George Mason University, Master of Science in Conflict Analysis and Resolution
1st Rotation: Office of the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice
Fellow Bio: Vernice is currently in her first rotation at the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice. She is a highly experienced servant leader with a demonstrated history of enhancing cross-sectoral relationships & partnerships. Vernice has expertise in areas such as conflict resolution, racial justice, community development & youth development, community & stakeholder engagement, leadership development, and non-profit management. She is currently exploring ways of using mindfulness & spirituality as tools for reconciliation and healing from domestic, racial conflicts. When Vernice is not working to resolve conflicts, she is volunteering in her community, reading new books, and traveling the world.
Favorite thing to do in DC: Listen to Go-Go Music while enjoying fresh mumbo sauce!
Favorite Quote: “Do Everything in Love.”

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Jordyn Seide

Hometown: Washington, DC
Undergraduate School and Degree: Lesley University, Bachelor of Science in Human Services
Graduate School and Degree: Boston University, Master of Social Work
1st Rotation: Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services
Fellow Bio: Jordyn is currently in her first rotation at the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services. She was born and raised in the inner-city of Washington, DC. Before becoming a Capital City Fellow, Jordyn worked in several different human service organizations working with a range of populations from infants to elderly. Her work experience and education have allowed her to develop not just clinical skills but also organizational aptitude, analytical skills, and leadership skills. Jordyn’s primary professional goal is to use a holistic approach to serve historically marginalized communities while understanding the power imbalances that exist between institutions and individuals, and the relationship to social inequalities and injustices. Most of all, Jordyn is a proud Washingtonian and excited to be able to return home and serve her community.
Favorite thing to do in DC: Explore cultures through music, museums, food.
Favorite Quote: “We have a shared destiny, a shared responsibility to save the world from those who attempt to destroy it.” - Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

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Genevera Smith

Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
Undergraduate School and Degree: Central State University, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
Graduate School and Degree: Bowie State University, Master of Arts in Human Resource Development; Morgan State University, Master of Business Administration
1st Rotation: Office of the State Superintendent of Education – Department of Transportation, Office of the Director
Fellow Bio: Genevera is in her first rotation with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education’s Division of Student Transportation where she is working on safety and transportation initiatives for students within the District of Columbia. She is currently working to implement a pilot program associated with the District’s Stop-Arm Camera initiative. Genevera believes that being a public servant is her calling and has served on the Federal, State, and Local levels of government. Prior to becoming a Capital City Fellow, Genevera served the District as a District Leadership Program intern working with the Office of Unified Communications and the Department of Energy and Environment in Information Technology and Human Resources respectively.
Favorite thing to do in DC: Visiting Chinatown, The Wharf and Georgetown Cupcakes!
Favorite Quote: “Be proactive vs. reactive.”

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