Jennifer Godzeno directs NACTO’s member engagement strategy, leadership programs, and the Designing Cities conference. She is an engaging facilitator and public speaker who has spent over a decade centering the civic power of communities of color in planning decisions. She led the government technical assistance unit as Deputy Director at the Participatory Budgeting Project, and launched the organization’s Participation Lab and Democracy Beyond Elections programs. As Planning Director at Transportation Alternatives, she trained advocates in low-income NYC neighborhoods to win public space and traffic calming improvements, and championed Vision Zero through open data campaigns and legislation for automated enforcement and lower speed limits. She also spent several years researching and implementing safe streets and parks for kids with Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the New York City Department of Health.
Jennifer is an alumna of the inaugural cohort of Culture of Health Leaders, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She earned a Master of Public Health and a Master of Science in Urban Planning at Columbia University, and studied neuroscience and music at Amherst College.
Jennifer was raised at the edge of the Seattle region urban growth boundary by Hong Kong immigrants who insisted she walk and ride the bus often. She lives with her husband and two children in a TOD-zoned neighborhood of Stamford, CT, where she is the appointed secretary of the city’s Planning Board. She is a leader in her progressive church community, and enjoys cooking and running.