Jayme Brown currently works at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, DC as the Jobs Plus Program Manager within the Office of Public Housing Investments. Her role entails leading and managing the national Jobs Plus program. The program, she says, "provides holistic support through locally-based, job-driven approaches to increase earned income and advance employment outcomes through work readiness, employer linkages, job placement, education, and financial empowerment for public housing residents."
Originally from Vancouver, Washington, Brown currently resides in Washington, DC. She holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Washington and received her MPA from Maxwell in 2009.
As Program Manager, Brown has done her best to transform the program. She says that they "are still in the development phase so we are still creating program policies, goals and metrics," which is changing the way the program operates since "many of the programs that deal with the 'people' side of housing do not have metrics." The creation of these metrics, under her watch, will aide in the sustainability of the program in the future. These will prove useful, as Brown says HUD is implementing the program in 18 cities and plans to expand in Fall 2016.
Before working for HUD, Brown worked at the Environmental Protection Agency as an Environmental Protection Specialist. During her time at the EPA, she earned two awards. In 2010, she received the EPA Civil Rights & Environmental Justice Award for her work on developing a regional goods movement tool, which helped identify areas impacted disproportionately due to heavy freight traffic. In 2011, she received the EPA National Honor Award for her participation as a member of the oil and gas air permits team, which developed impact analyses for off shore oil and gas drilling in the Alaskan outer continental shelf.
Brown says that while her time at the EPA was not expected, the skills she learned there proved invaluable. "My federal career started at the Environmental Protection Agency. I never thought in a million years I would be interested in policies surrounding air quality and disproportionate impacts but I fell in love. It opened my eyes to a whole new realm of policy that I hadn't even considered," she says.
During her time at Maxwell, she says Christine Omolino made an impact. According to Brown, she "helped to make my experience at Maxwell an invaluable one. Starting with my initial visit and throughout my studies I always felt as if she truly cared about my success. I knew if I was having a rough day or just wanted to talk with someone her door was always open. She truly believes it the power of public service and wouldn't let me forget it."
Brown says that receiving a graduate student scholarship not only helped her make the decision to come to Maxwell, but it gave her flexibility in her schedule so she could gain practical experience outside the classroom. "Because the scholarship paid half of my tuition it allowed me the flexibility to intern throughout my time at Maxwell. I got a fantastic position with the City of Syracuse's community development department--which helped me qualify for my current position at HUD," she says.
Brown's advice for current students is to, "focus on building transferable skills and be open to opportunities that you wouldn't normally take."