Founding Executive Director
ULI Daniel Rose Center for Public Leadership
Jess Zimbabwe was named founding executive director of the ULI Daniel Rose Center for Public Leadership in 2009. The Center’s flagship program is the Daniel Rose Fellowship for public leaders, which brings the mayors and senior leadership teams of four cities together for a year-long program of learning from land use experts, technical assistance, study tours, leadership development, and peer-to-peer exchange. The Rose Center also holds forums on public/private real estate development and workshops to educate public officials.
Previously, Zimbabwe was director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, working with more than 125 American mayors and cities to help local leaders advocate for better-built environments in their own communities. Before that, she was community design director at Urban Ecology, providing pro bono community planning and design assistance to low-income neighborhoods in the San Francisco Bay area. Zimbabwe was a comparative domestic policy fellow at the German Marshall Fund and a fellow of the Women’s Policy Institute of the Women’s Foundation of California. She is on the board of directors of Next City. She is a licensed architect, a certified city planner, and a LEED-accredited professional.