Jordan, a member of one of our newest volunteer consulting teams shares her background and why she got involved with DC Social Innovation Project as a volunteer.
Q: Where did you live before moving to DC?
Jordan: I grew up in Arizona and have lived/worked in Israel, California, Boston, and Cameroon before settling in DC.
Q: What is your day job and what does it involve?
Jordan: My day job is with the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of Transition Initiatives, which supports local populations working for peace and democracy in countries in crisis by providing hundreds and sometimes thousands of small grants to change-makers in those countries. After working on one of our country programs for a couple years, I now work on our Applied Best Practices and Coordination Team. Prior to USAID, I worked with domestic and international NGOs running programs focused on conflict resolution, community dialogue, and violence prevention.
Q: Any hobbies or interests outside of work?
Jordan: I have a lot of hobbies that I fully enjoy and am totally mediocre at–running, guitar, dance, bringing friends and community together for creative and social adventures.
Q: How did you learn about DCSIP?
Jordan: I learned about DCSIP from a co-worker. We were researching DC-based organizations that we thought might have some interesting overlap with our office at USAID in the hopes of connecting for our annual conference and she discovered DCSIP. While we didn’t end up connecting for the annual conference, I really liked the business model and was really interested in supporting it so I signed up as a volunteer.
Q: What is your current volunteer role with DCSIP and what will you be doing in that role?
Jordan: I’m a volunteer consultant and I’ll be working on a team of volunteer consultants to support Suited for Start-up, a project of Suited for Change, in developing their program strategy.
Q: What is it about DCSIP’s mission and work that appeals to you?
Jordan: I really like DCSIP’s business model and find intriguing similarities between that and the work I do internationally. I’m interested in learning more how these models and skills can benefit my local community.
Q: What are your thoughts on social entrepreneurship/innovation and its power to change lives?
Jordan: Well, being involved in one of the biggest bureaucracies in the world, the U.S. Government, I’m particularly excited to see how individuals and organizations can implement change-making, creative ideas unshackled from some of the bureaucratic processes of government. I imagine there are some obvious benefits that come with that kind of freedom, but I’d also like to better understand the challenges that working in this sector entail. I’d also like to explore the intersection between government and social entrepreneurship. For example, how can we make government more innovative and how can we increase the impact of social entrepreneurs through public/private partnerships?
Q: What do you enjoy most about living in DC?
Jordan: I love the snow. Just kidding. I love that it’s small enough that I can walk all over town, get to know my neighbors and feel a part of a community. And I love that it’s cosmopolitan enough that I can plug into an amazing array of arts, culture, and politics–and that it’s pretty easy to escape to the woods when you just need to get out of DC.
Learn more about volunteer opportunities and how you can get involved by visiting our website.