Jake earned a Master of Science in Nature, Society & Environmental Policy from Oxford University where he graduated with distinction for his dissertation. He also earned a Master of Urban Design from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Maryland.
Jake has spent his career revitalizing downtowns and making them more vibrant, livable places. He has worked for the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, most recently as the Director of the Center for Towns. The Center for Towns is a program utilizing design, planning and implementation assistance to establish vibrant, sustainable small cities and towns on the Eastern Shore.
Before moving back to the land of pleasant living in 2008, Jake served as national President of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) and later as Editor-in-Chief of Crit, a journal of architecture. A Richard Upjohn Fellow, he served on the American Institute of Architects (AIA) national Board of Directors and in various capacities with each of the national architectural organizations (NCARB, NAAB, ACSA) and a growing design organization, Urban Dialogues. Jake has worked for Partners for Livable Communities, Becker Morgan Group and Design Collective helping to redesign and revitalize communities.
Jake is a First Lieutenant in the Army, serving as a TAC Officer in the Officer Candidate School. He is a graduate of Maneuver Captains Career Course, Armor Basic Officer Leaders Course, Officer Candidate School and Basic Combat Training at Fort Benning, GA. Jake has served as a Platoon Leader and Executive Officer in the 1-158th Cavalry Regiment of the 58th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade and as Aide-de-Camp to Brigadier General Hinz, The Assistant Adjutant General of the Maryland National Guard.
Jake’s work has been honored as a fellow of Leadership Maryland, the Smart Growth America Local Leaders Council and the Next American Vanguard – ‘America’s best and brightest young urban leaders’, as well as winner of the 2012 Maryland
Sustainable Growth Award for Leadership & Service, a 2010 Strong Communities Competition national semi-finalist, 2010 Heart of the Chesapeake Outstanding Project award, 2007 ULI Gerald D. Hines Urban Design Competition Honorable Mention and has been featured at the International Society of City and Regional Planners’ Conference in Belgium and in publications including Urban Trialogues and Strategies for the Reuse of Vacant Urban Land. He was also featured in the 2007 book – Becoming an Architect, by Lee Waldrep, Ph.D. In addition to his written and editorial work for Crit – Journal of Architecture, Jake authored a 2010 book about ESLC’s place work[s]hop community design process. He has been a featured speaker and panelist at the AIA National Convention – interviewing Santiago Calatrava for the AIA Gold Medal Forum, the ACSA Administrators’ Conference, and the National Building Museum.
Since his election, Jake’s budgets have focused heavily on community betterment through placemaking, crime reduction, and infrastructure improvement. Under his leadership, the City has identified its brand, which can now be seen on signs, shirts, hats, vehicles, stickers, and even the City’s historic Victorian water standpipe. Main Street improvements are underway, thanks in part to a 1 million-dollar allotment of the State’s budget from Governor Hogan. Crime in the City is at historic lows, with 2016, in particular, seeing the fewest violent crimes of any year on record. Events in Salisbury are big draws, and they are getting much bigger, with the addition of a full-fledged marathon, and now with the news that Salisbury will be the host city for the National Folk Festival from 2018-2020.
Jake’s far better half – Liz – is a physical education and health teacher in Wicomico County. They are the parents of two beautiful daughters, Lily and Olivia.