Chief Operating Officer
Jessica Smith serves as the Chief Operating Officer at J Street. Jess has an extensive background in organizational management, strategic communications, campaign strategy, policy development and stakeholder outreach—within the public and private sectors, Capitol Hill and the White House. Jess came to J Street from the global public affairs firm Burson-Marsteller, where she served as a Managing Director and head of operations for the Public Affairs and Crisis practice. During her tenure at Burson, she was named to PRWeek’s “40 Under 40” list of Public Relations professionals. Prior to Burson, Jess served in the Obama Administration– first as a senior spokesperson for the Department of Justice and then as the Director of External Affairs for FEMA, serving as the government’s lead spokesperson during some of the most notable disasters, including Hurricane Sandy. Jess was Communications Director for Senator Jim Webb, working both in his U.S. Senate office and on his 2006 campaign. She has managed congressional campaigns, served as a political director for Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign and served as an advisor to then-Chairman Terry McAuliffe at the 2000 Democratic National Convention. Jess is a graduate of Cornell University and sits on the President’s Council of Cornell Women. She also serves on the board of Interfaith Family. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband, Erik and their kids, Jack and Genevieve.