11th Street Bridge Park Team

SCOTT KRATZ
Director

For the last five years, Scott  has been working with the Ward 8 based non-profit Building Bridges Across the River and the Washington D.C. 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 have 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 is a resident of Barrack’s Row and has lived in Washington D.C. for the last 11+ years. He has worked in the education field for twenty+ years and 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, CA. While at the Autry, he supervised a staff that planned and implemented programs including theater, film, music, festivals, family programs, lecture series, and academic symposia. Most recently, he was the Vice President for Education at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C. Scott is honored to serve on the board of the Anacostia Coordinating Council and the United Planning Organization.

Photo by Jared Soares
IRFANA JETHA NOORANI
Deputy Director

Irfana Jetha Noorani is the Deputy Director of the 11th Street Bridge Park, a public/private partnership between the District of Columbia and the local nonprofit Building Bridges Across the River to build a civic space that spans the Anacostia River and connects the communities of Capitol Hill/Navy Yard and Anacostia/Fairlawn. Along with fundraising, Irfana works closely with local stakeholders to plan community-driven programs like the Anacostia River Festival and other placekeeping initiatives in the adjoining neighborhoods. She promotes the project’s equity-first model by providing planning and implementation support on the Bridge Park’s Equitable Development Plan—a $56MM initiative to ensure that investments in nearby neighborhoods benefit current residents. Irfana has also been working with local artists and residents to develop cultural strategies to add to the Plan.

Previously, Irfana worked with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in the Performing Arts Program and for New York Live Arts | Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company as the Manager of Institutional Giving. Irfana was an Arts Management Fellow at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She holds a BA in Dance & Movement Studies and International Relations from Emory University. Irfana is a Ward 5 resident and lives in the Bloomingdale neighborhood.

irfana@bridgepark.org | 202.889.5901 x 205



VAUGHN PERRY
Equitable Development Manager

Vaughn Perry is the Equitable Development Manager. His role is to oversee and implement the deliverables for the Equitable Development Plan.  A D.C. native, Vaughn has been a resident and homeowner in Ward 8 for over 16 years. Vaughn’s research interests focus on ecojustice pedagogies, community engagement and green job/skill development.

Previously, Vaughn worked for the Anacostia Watershed Society, where he led the National Capital Region – Watershed Stewards Academy providing community leaders with the resources to serve as a point in their community on storm water issues. Vaughn holds a Bachelor’s degree in IT from Strayer University and a Master’s Degree in Project Management from George Washington University.

 vaughn@bridgepark.org | 202.889.5901 x208


JESSICA G. SMITH
Communications & Community Engagement Manager

Jessica G. Smith is the Communications and Community Engagement Manager at the 11th Street Bridge Park, a project of Building Bridges Across the River at THEARC. Her role is to set the communication strategy for the Bridge Park, including coordinating external relations with residents in the project’s impact area, funders, and press.  

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 believes it is important for residents to be aware and engaged in community affairs. As a Ward 7 resident, she serves on the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board Citizen Advisory Committee of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

Prior to joining the Bridge Park, 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. Jessica holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from The Pennsylvania State University and a Master’s Degree in Legislative Affairs from George Washington University.

 Jessica@bridgepark.org | 202.889.5901 x207

Mehvish Jamal
Grant & Project Coordinator 

Mehvish is the 11th Street Bridge Park’s Grant & Project Coordinator. In addition to supporting development efforts, Mehvish manages the measurement and evaluation of the Bridge Park’s Equitable Development Plan in collaboration with the Urban Institute and coordinates deliverables across three non-profit partners as part of a J.P. Morgan Chase PRO Neighborhoods grant.

As a creative placemaker, design thinker and social entrepreneur, Mehvish is passionate about initiatives that work with residents and across sectors to reduce inequity in communities and foster healthy and vibrant places. She has called D.C. home for the past six years and loves exploring parks in the region through Wild Wilderness Women, a local outdoors group whose board she serves on as the Equity & Inclusion Chair.

Prior to joining the Bridge Park, Mehvish worked with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s (LISC) national rural program. Mehvish earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a minor in International Studies from American University as part of the Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars program.

Destinee Johnson
Program Associate

Destinee Johnson is the Program Associate with the 11th Street Bridge Park, a project of Building Bridges Across the River at THE ARC. Her role consists of organizing community programming, reaching out to community partners for public events, and acting as volunteer coordinator for the 11th Street Bridge Park and Building Bridges Across the River.

Originally from the South Side of Chicago, Destinee has a passion for programming that amplifies a community’s cultural authenticity and empowers its members to explore, express, and create boundlessly. She has experienced the transformative power of accessible arts and cultural programming in her own community and believes every person should have the opportunity to empower themselves by trying something new.

Prior to joining the Bridge Park Team, Destinee earned her Masters of Arts in Teaching in Museum Education from George Washington University, and a Bachelors of Science in Education from The University of Illinois Champaign Urbana.