the team

Omar Brownson
– Executive Director
Mr. Brownson joined the LA River Revitalization Corporation in January 2011 as its first executive director.   He is excited to bring together the human, capital, and natural resources necessary to create and sustain responsible investments along the river corridor.  He has dedicated his career to improving urban communities, spanning institutional investment, real estate development, and public policy.  

Most recently, Mr. Brownson led the Los Angeles expansion of Seslia & Company, a financial advisory firm focused on structuring and sourcing project financing for public institutions.  Prior to that, he served as vice president of acquisitions and development at CityView, an institutional investment firm, and spearheaded numerous other mission-driven and community development initiatives.

He is committed to the betterment of Los Angeles for all.  He serves on the Advisory Board of the social enterprise Isidore Electronics Recycling and he is also former chairman of the Liberty Hill Foundation.   Mr. Brownson holds a graduate degree in public policy and urban planning from Harvard University, where he also won the Urban Land Institute’s Gerald D. Hines Urban Design Competition.  At the University of California, Davis, he earned a dual degree in international relations, and nature and culture.  Mr. Brownson was a Coro Fellow and served in Public Allies, an Americorps program.

Mr. Brownson grew up in Los Angeles and is happily married to Kim Pattillo Brownson, a civil rights lawyer.  They are the proud parents of two daughters.

Jessica Brown – Director of Development
Jessica has extensive experience of both fundraising and grant-making in the non-profit sector, in the US and abroad.  She brings an entrepreneurial approach to fundraising and strengthens the RRC’s ability to attract the necessary resources to transform the Los Angeles River into a valuable, celebrated resource for the region.

Most recently, Jessica was the founding Director of a family foundation focused on supporting leadership in the UK environmental sustainability sector. As Director of the Tellus Mater Foundation, she led all aspects of the organization’s philanthropic activities, and worked in partnership with a wide range of non-profit and private sector institutions to spearhead innovative projects for environmental change.

Jessica also has experience as head of a research team at a UK-based think tank, the New Economics Foundation. As Head of the social finance area, Jessica was responsible for all aspects of fundraising, project management, and strategic development of the unit, which had a policy focus on finance for community development. Jessica’s background in finance includes time spent in investment banking, and microfinance for international development, where she worked with Opportunity International as a consultant in parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Jessica has previously been appointed to multiple non-profit boards and advisory groups, is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts and Manufactures, and is a longstanding member of the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House). She holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College, a Master’s degree in International Relations from Yale University, and an (unfinished) PhD from the London School of Economics.

Jessica recently moved from London to Santa Monica, where she now lives with her husband and three boys.

Jennifer Samson – Project Manager
Prior to joining the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation, Jennifer Samson was a Project Manager for Thomas Safran & Associates, an affordable housing developer specializing in tax-credit senior and family apartment communities.

She has also worked as a Project Manager for Livable Places, a non-profit developer of mixed-income, mixed-use housing communities.

She attended USC as a Consortium for Graduate Study in Management Fellow, earning master’s degrees in both Business Administration (MBA) and Real Estate Development (MRED). Jennifer also has bachelor’s degrees in both Philosophy and Romance Languages from New York University.

Miranda Rodriguez - Community Outreach & Events
Miranda handles community outreach and events coordination. She is a native Angeleno, dedicated to building healthy and vibrant Los Angeles communities.

Miranda began her career as an Americorps Vista member with the LA Community Development Commission at the Nueva Maravilla Housing Community. Her experience since then has been devoted to community outreach and event management for both small businesses and non‐profits. She also has interned with the East LA Arts and Mural Program & the LA County Bicycle Coalition.

Miranda holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Lewis and Clark College. She likes to cook, read, travel and ride her bicycle.

Patrice Bone– Operations and Communications
Patrice brings fifteen years of experience in the production of print and online media, holidng such positions as associate publisher of Urb Magazine, managing editor at Primedia, and head of production for the social media start-up  

She recently received her Master's degree in psychology from the Phiillips Graduate Institute and is a Marriage and Family Therapy intern with Larchmont Associates. Patrice recieved her Bachelor's degree in English and anthropology from Swarthmore College. 

Job Postings. The RRC continues to grow its team of staff and consultants to help us carry out our strategies for revitalization of the river. We are currently looking for assistance with operations and administration. View our listing on Idealist.