Jessica G. Ortiz

Vice President, Development & External Relations

Jessica G. Ortiz is currently VP of Development & External Relations at PENCIL. She has a 12-year track record of strategically developing external partnerships that achieve high growth in contributed revenue, significant programmatic reach to underserved youth, and positive evaluation based outcomes.

Most recently, she served as Director of Grants and External Affairs for Liberty Science Center (LSC) where her key accomplishments included annually increasing funding, obtaining nationally competitive awards with NASA and U.S. DOE, managing a portfolio of five- through- seven- figure donors with many committing to multi-year relationships, and nurturing staff talents to achieve organizational goals. While with LSC, Jessica greatly enjoyed her collaborations with the Education Division to identify program needs, develop or restructure initiatives, and strategically partner with school districts and universities to ensure the delivery of services to low-income youth via externally-funded partnerships. Additionally, for a year, Jessica served as the Interim Vice President of External Affairs leading LSC to the successful attainment of its funding targets while monitoring/reporting on operational concerns, opportunities, strategic plans, and achievements for the Development Division as a whole. Previously, Jessica served as the Grants Manager for the City of Newark (NJ) in the Department of Health where she oversaw a multi-million dollar grants portfolio, while developing new grant opportunities and external partnerships, and raising new grant resources for key initiatives. And, she served as a Director at F.E.G.S Health and Human Services System in New York City, where she designed, administered, and secured funding for a program portfolio of twenty-one youth enrichment programs.

Jessica also consulted for the Washington, D.C.-based Academy for Educational Development and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies (JCPES) where she served as a panelist at symposiums and co-authored articles and reports published by JCPES. She is a member of the Leadership New Jersey Class of 2011. Leadership New Jersey educates, empowers, and engages talented leaders to create systemic change around the country’s most challenging issues. Jessica is the former Chair of the Development Committee for the Newark Educators Community Charter School in Newark, NJ.

Jessica is a first-generation immigrant from the Dominican Republic and a New York City Public School graduate. She earned a B.A., Magna Cum Laude with a double concentration in Community Health and Hispanic Literature, from Brown University, and a Master of Public Health (MPH), Summa Cum Laude from Columbia University. Jessica enjoys experiencing different cultures and has traveled to over twenty-three countries. She lives in Westfield, NJ with her husband and their two wonderful children.