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Leadership & Vision


To lead the St Elizabeths East innovation-driven development and its complementary goals to generate jobs, provide education and training for expanded employment opportunities, and diversify the City’s financial base, Mayor Muriel Bowser named Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Brian Kenner to head the development effort.  The project is executed by the staff within the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED).


St. Elizabeths East Team

St Elizabeths East Executive Director, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, Government of the District of Columbia

Ed Fisher is an experienced government and community affairs professional in both the public and private sectors. He most recently served as the Director of Community Affairs for CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, where he developed and implemented strategies for community investments and corporate philanthropy. Prior to his tenure there, he served in various leadership roles with the Council of the District of Columbia including Chief of Staff, Committee Director and Legislative Counsel. In these roles, he advised on policies, directed legislative strategies, initiated community engagement, and managed the day to day operations of a Council office. Ed also worked in the financial services sector at SunTrust Bank before working in litigation at various agencies in the Federal government. Ed has used his experience as a small business owner to promote entrepreneurship and encourage economic growth in underserved communities. He is board member of the D.C. Promise Neighborhood Initiative, Advisory Board Member for Girls on the Run-DC, and received the 2012 Community Leadership Award from Uptown Magazine. A graduate of DCPS’s Eastern High School, Ed is also an alum of Hampton University and The Catholic University of America Columbus Law School. He is a native Washingtonian who was raised in the Deanwood community in Ward 7.

Project Manager, St. Elizabeths East, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, Government of the District of Columbia

James Parks IV is a Project Manager at St. Elizabeths East. He is responsible for maintaining interagency relations, public relations, and vendor programs support. James grew up in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Sidwell Friends School and completed a B.A. at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey in New Brunswick. James has a passion for connecting with people and impacting them positively in order to change the world for the better. Through his experiences as a servant leader (including work as a Resident Assistant for freshmen and upperclassmen, a varsity coxswain for the Rowing Team, and the president of his college chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.) James has earned the respect of peers, coaches, and teachers at all the institutions with which affiliated.


Hospitality Sector Manager, Business Development Department, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, Government of the District of Columbia

Pia Brown serves as Hospitality Sector Manager supporting hotels, restaurants, events and travel and leisure growth in the District. Pia’s past experience in the hospitality sector includes event operations and facilities management where she was responsible for managing over 200 events per year that included major medical tradeshows, conferences 5 presidential inaugural events, the Nuclear Security Summit and sales with Events DC and Centerplate.  Pia has also served as the Executive Director of the Sirleaf Market Women’s Fund in Liberia where she was responsible for building markets and managing social services programs that included microfinance, adult literacy, and pre-school education. Pia holds a B.A. from Brown University and an MBA from the American University.


St Elizabeths East Advisory Board

The St Elizabeths East Advisory Board, appointed by the Mayor, is responsible for providing guidance and professional expertise to the development.  Together, the Board is leveraging its combined expertise and experience to help fulfill the Mayor’s vision for transforming the 183-acre St Elizabeths East campus into a major economic and community-building opportunity.

Members of the St Elizabeths East Advisory Board include:

  • Brian Kenner, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (Chairperson)
  • Harvey Baron (Co-Chair), Dean of the Howard School of Business (appointed)
  • Dean Telaekah Brooks (Co-Chair), Dean of the School of Professional Studies at Trinity Washington University
  • Mary Cuthbert, Chairperson of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 8C
  • Shelia Bunn, Ward 8 Resident

Starting January 2015, the St. Elizabeths East Advisory Board will meet the First Wednesday of every month at 1PM at the R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center (2730 Martin Luther King Jr., Ave., SE).  Meetings are open to the public. The dates of the 2015 Advisory Board meetings are as follows.  Agenda’s and Minutes are posted below:



St. Elizabeths East will be a unique place to cultivate globally-significant economic opportunities in security, including critical infrastructure, energy, and sustainable technologies and practices – a place where our nation’s brightest minds can think, create, innovate, educate, and live.


Find details about this unparalleled vision, offering, place, project, and strategy in the publication St Elizabeths East: Envisioning the Future.

To maximize the growth of innovation-based small businesses and jobs, St Elizabeths East will become:

  • A revitalized historic campus with new mixed-use neighborhoods of retail, office, housing, open space, and cultural amenities.
  • A center for innovation and excellence that leverages the substantial investment of DC government in infrastructure and other neighborhood amenities and improvements, including approximately $2.7 million in site planning and entitlements, and $4.5 million in historic building stabilization. Additionally, Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s budget, approved by the DC Council in June, 2012, includes $113.5 million for infrastructure improvements to be delivered between 2013 through 2016.
  • An economic development project that stimulates revitalization and regeneration in South East Washington.

Development on the East Campus is guided by the St Elizabeths East Redevelopment Framework Plan, approved by the DC Council in December 2008 and the 2012 Master Plan and an Economic Development Strategy funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, with multiple objectives that provide for:

  • Direct employment opportunities in both the short- and long-term for District residents;
  • Services and amenities that improve choices for both local residents and an new workforce;
  • Revitalization of the historic campus by adaptively reusing buildings within a mixed use environment
  • Expansion of retail and housing choices for residents east of the river, and others

Enhancement of mobility, replacement of obsolete infrastructure, and an example of best practices in sustainability.