Jessica Blackburn

Jessica Blackburn

Jessica Blackburn

Community Leadership Initiative Director

Virginia Office


(804) 775 0953

Jess grew up spending lazy Virginia summer days floating down the James River with her family and camping in the George Washington National Forest along the Tye River. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a Minor in Philosophy from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Jess serves as the Community Leadership Initiative Director and the Coordinator for the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Stakeholders’ Advisory Committee. She provides professional staffing support to 28 citizen volunteers who are appointed by the Governors of VA, MD, PA, the Mayor of DC, and the Board of Directors of the Alliance. She is responsible for organizing engaging meetings throughout the Bay watershed where the Committee hears from government officials, technical experts, and stakeholders to discuss the health of local rivers, environmental successes and challenges, and policy impacts on the residents of the watershed. The Committee provides recommendations and advice to their elected executive appointing authorities and the leadership of the Chesapeake Bay Program.

Jess characterizes her role at the Alliance as one of servant leadership and is particularly interested in the intersection of environmental and social issues. She lives in the James River Watershed in Richmond, VA where she tends to her vegetable and herb garden, aspires to be a foodie by supporting local restaurants, enjoys music, and reading fiction and nonfiction.