Building Bridges Across the River Senior Vice President & 11th Street Bridge Park Director
For the last ten years, Scott has been working with the East of the River based non-profit Building Bridges Across the River and the Washington DC city government to transform an old freeway bridge into a park above the Anacostia River. The old 11th Street Bridges that connect Capitol Hill with communities east of the river reached the end of their lifespan, Scott is working with the community to use the base of one of the bridges to create a one of a kind civic space supporting active recreation, environmental education and the arts. Scott leads the team that is designing, building and one day operating the park. Beyond the park’s physical construction, he has led the effort to ensure long term residents can stay and thrive in place through a nationally recognized equitable development plan that includes affordable housing, workforce training, preservation of Black owned small businesses and arts / culture strategies.
Scott lives a few blocks away from the Bridge Park site in Capitol Hill and has called Washington DC his home for the last 17+ years. He graduated with a history degree from Pomona College in Southern California and has worked in the education field for twenty+ years. He began his career teaching at Kidspace, a children’s museum in Pasadena, California and later as the Associate Director of the Institute for the Study of the American West at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles. While at the Autry, he supervised a staff that planned and implemented programs including film, music, festivals, family programs, lecture series, academic symposia and Native theater. He moved to Washington DC to become the Vice President for Education at the National Building Museum. Scott is honored to serve on the board of the Anacostia Coordinating Council and the Anacostia Business Improvement District.
JESSICA G. SMITH LENNAN
Jessica G. Smith Lennan is a Senior Manager at the 11th Street Bridge Park. She leads the communication, community engagement, and external relations strategies for multi-sector initiatives to advance equitable and community driven development.
As a third generation Washingtonian, she is passionate about creating greater economic opportunity through inclusive development and having resources that allow current residents east of the river to live in healthy and vibrant communities. She is excited to work to implement placekeeping initiatives.
Jessica has served on the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board Citizen Advisory Committee of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the community organization River East Emerging Leaders. Previously, Jessica worked with the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District as the Placemaking and Events Manager, she promoted economic growth and sustainability initiatives through programming and advocated for the needs of the community and local businesses. In addition, Jessica has worked as a consultant with non-profits & the Department of Transportation. Jessica holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism with minors in Spanish and Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University and a Master’s Degree in Legislative Affairs from George Washington University.
Jessica@bridgepark.org | 202.889.5901 x207
Equitable Development Manager
Kia Johnson is the Equitable Development Manager. She works to implement the Equitable Development Plan. Furthermore, managing the partnerships and programs in place to ensure that the residents within Ward 8 have the tools and resources to live and maintain an equitable life within the community.
Ms. Johnson has made it her mission to create spaces for critical discourse that focuses on cultivating communities and evoking continuous positive outcomes within Ward 8. The opportunity to serve as the Equitable Development Manager is a full-circle experience for Ms. Johnson as it aligns with her guiding principles and professional ethos.Her journey to equitable outcomes and expanding accessibility began at THEARC. Her mission stems from her involvement and work within the community of Washington D.C. She became involved and connected to many outreach programs as a volunteer, servicing the Southeast community of Washington, District of Columbia.
Much of Ms. Johnson’s work has been centered around filling those gaps by teaching the importance of conversations within communities. Her commitment has been unwavering since. Being able to serve the community in a larger capacity is the most rewarding attribute of this opportunity. Ms. Johnson is excited to maintain all aspects that have been successful within the …Community and look forward to supporting the community and all stakeholders alike. Within her previous roles, Ms. Johnson has 10 years of experience as a project manager with a track record in leading the design and execution of programs, and partnerships within non-profit organizations within the education sector. She has served on the board of George Mason University as Student Alumni Representative where she advocated for equitable curriculums for the BIPOC scholars within graduate programs.
Ms. Johnson gained her Bachelor’s in Communication from Trinity Washington University and a Master’s Degree in Conflict Analysis & Resolution with a minor in Inclusive Conflict Engagement from George Mason University.
Kia Johnson is cultivating the community one conversation at a time.
Director of Foundation & Corporate Giving
Anna–Jane serves as the Director of Foundation & Corporate Giving at the 11th Street Bridge Park. In her role, she spearheads funding opportunities for the Bridge Park’s general operating, equitable development, and $92MM capital campaign efforts. In addition, Anna–Jane heads the Bridge Park’s individual fundraising appeals and stewardship, the annual Give11 campaign.
Anna–Jane’s passion for people and learning, has guided her through her university and across the globe. After graduating from Appalachian State’s Honors College with a degree in Public Relations, Anna–Jane earned a Development role with the Cancer Support Community (CSC). In her role as a Development Manager, Anna–Jane focused on fostering trusted relationships with donors in order to expand and elevate CSC’s mission across the globe. She was also appointed to the organization’s first diversity, equity, and inclusion task force where she conducted a rigorous introductory audit on the employee experience at CSC.
Outside of her workday, Anna–Jane spends her time advocating for better public transportation and bike lanes. She’s currently walking every street in Washington, DC and has worn through two pairs of shoes in the process!
A North Carolina native, Anna–Jane now proudly calls Washington, DC home with her numerous jade plants.
Alexia Roberts is the Administrative Assistant at the 11th Street Bridge Park. She is responsible for supporting administrative needs and directly contributing achieving organization and collaboration across the department. She is excited to work with the organization to help build more opportunities for the community.
Alexia enjoys helping others and giving back to the community. She spent the last 3 years of her career providing vital services to the homeless in short term family and single individual shelters here in Washington DC. She helped residents obtain an Identification card, social security card, birth certificate and helped them move into permanent housing. Not only is she passionate about making a difference in society, but she’s also changing lives.
Alexia is attending Trinity College to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Human Relations.
Events & Program Manager
Before becoming the Events and Program Manager, Mrs. Powell was a long time friend and partner of Building Bridges. For 9 years, she worked for AppleTree Early Learning Public Charter School, which is one of the several nonprofits housed at THEARC. During her time as the Family Engagement Department at AppleTree Mrs. Powell worked to cultivate positive and supportive school and family relationships. In collaboration with teachers, families and community partners Mrs. Powell provided resources, support and community based learning experience for countless families at AppleTree’s 11 campuses located throughout the district. Her drive for this work stems from her firm belief that the key to strong communities is equitable access to opportunity and strong Collaborative Community practices where parents, students, school, churches, business owners and community partners build a culture of professional learning, collective trust, and shared responsibility.
Mrs. Powell holds an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education from Trinity Washington University and is pursuing her second undergraduate degree in Community Education.
Senior Equitable Development Manager
Anna is a licensed architect in DC who believes strongly in the power of design to shape our lives for the better. She currently serves as the Senior Equitable Development Manager for the 11th Street Bridge Park project. Since moving into the Anacostia neighborhood in 2015, she has witnessed rapid change in the community; changes that have resulted in the displacement of some of her neighbors due to rising housing costs. Through her work with the Bridge Park, she hopes to continue the Park’s mission of creating an equitable and inclusive development that allows residents to thrive in place.
Prior to joining the Bridge Park team, Anna served as a project architect on building projects in DC, Maryland and Virginia, most of which were affordable housing developments, schools or recreation centers. In 2021, she was selected as an inaugural fellow of the Public Interest Design Lab. The fellowship is sponsored by the DC Public Library and the Goethe-Institut with a goal of supporting the development of existing projects that confront inequities and foster connectivity through community-based design. Anna also participates in a number of programs designed to expose youth to the architecture and planning professions.