As the Executive Director of The Water Collaborative of Greater New Orleans, Jessica Dandridge has dedicated her to life to community advocacy and campaign development for organizations seeking to be socially, economically and culturally inclusive. Through socially innovative engagement strategies, Ms. Dandridge has cultivated spaces for learning and the advancement of campaigns through collaboration, risk mitigation, and resource mobilization. Ms. Dandridge received her B.A at Xavier University in Political Science and her M.A in International Affairs with a concentration in security in conflict The New School for Public Engagement in New York City. Since starting her career in advocacy and non-profit management at age 15, she has learned international techniques through civil rights champions and research-based models to formulate multidisciplinary approaches to problem-solving. Since 2005, she has worked for, or in collaboration with dozens of organizations in the Greater New Orleans area including Fyre Youth Squad, Rethink, Puentes, JJPL, The Algebra Project, and Finding Our Folk.
Prior to starting at the WC, Ms. Jessica was a non-profit consultant at her business Patois (ˈpaˌtwä) and the Louisiana State Director at the Campaign Election Engagement Project working to increase voter engagement among college students. She was also the Program Director for Rural Electric Cooperative Democracy Project for the Rockefeller Family Fund advocating for equity, transparency, economic development, and environmental protection in Rural Electric Cooperatives for vulnerable communities in the Black Belt of Alabama. Ms. Dandridge is trained in Youth Program Quality Initiative and Assessments, has a certificate in Leadership, Activism and Civil Rights from Brown University, and a certificate in Kingian Nonviolence Strategies from the Selma Center of Nonviolence. As the Executive Director of The Water Collaborative of Greater New Orleans, she sits on seven advisory boards focused on water management, climate adaptation and climate resiliency strategies and is a board member for the Committee for a Better New Orleans. Jessica is also a head chef for her grandparents Caribbean Creole Restaurant, “Palmers Cuisine” established 37 years ago. Her popular dishes include Jerk Chicken, Seafood Gumbo, Escovitch Fish, and Rasta Pasta.