Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (2004) Associate Director New York City Mayor’s Office of Special Projects and Community Events
A recreation, parks and tourism administration alumna, Jennifer Brown has been hard at work in New York City since she graduated from Cal Poly in 2004. She currently serves under New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the New York City Mayor’s Office of Special Projects and Community Events. She started as an event coordinator and eventually worked her way up to her current position as associate director.
Working for the Office of the Mayor, Brown coordinates many of the events that the mayor hosts in the city. The types of events range from a dinner to the annual 9/11 ceremony to the NFL Championship Parade. There are usually two to three events per week, and Brown generally helps directly coordinate three to four per month. This year, Brown had the opportunity to help plan the New York Giants Celebration Parade after their Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots. Her prior experience planning the 2009 New York Yankees Championship Parade as well as the 2007 New York Giants Super Bowl Celebration Parade made this event familiar for Brown. A big part of implementing an event of this size is working with several city agencies.
“A lot of city agencies help coordinate the event and work with our office to make it all happen,” says Brown.
The 10 people who work in Brown’s office only had 48 hours to plan the Giant’s Championship Parade. “We had to have all the right people in line to set everything in motion,” she added. While at Cal Poly, Brown interned two summers in New York, including an internship with the Parks and Recreation Department. Although these internships were unpaid, she gained valuable experience that helped her land an internship with the Office of the Mayor her senior year.
Over the years, Brown has gone from planning small-scale barbecues to large-scale, city-wide events. She says her most memorable event was the first one she was fully in charge of: a mayor’s speech on Earth Day at the Natural History Museum with 1,000 people in attendance. Brown also enjoys planning events that people will remember for many years to come such as the emotional 9/11 event every year and the Pope’s visit. Brown feels lucky to have the opportunity to plan events that have become part of the city’s and nation’s history.