Influenced by Washington, DC, the federal government and tourism, but Jeff Jamaat, MCP ’19, SM ’19, thinks that is not enough. “We want people to recognize DC as a tech hub,” said Jamawat, associate director of economic development and innovation at the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District. The nonprofit is launching an innovation district centered along the Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House and George Washington University. “It will diversify the city’s workforce with technology talent and help DC stay competitive,” he said.
Born in Los Angeles, Jamaat grew up in Bangkok, Thailand. “Some kids like sports or music. For me it has always been about building, ”he said. “The space between them, and how they touch the sky.”
After college, Jamaat moved to DC for a fellowship with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Smart Growth Program. He then took a job at the Mayor’s Institute of City Design at the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “Working with mayors from inland Alaska to coastal Florida on projects ranging from moving a train station to converting it into a watershed was a specialty,” said Jamaat.
Four years into that job, Jamaat decided that he needed skills that could only be found at MIT. “I learned how the results of many urban design projects were linked to real estate development,” he says. “But in most schools, real estate programs are taught in business or public policy schools. I wanted a program that had a physical plan, including part of the real estate environment and design DNA. “On his way to pursuing a bachelor’s degree in real estate development and city planning, he rewritten an approximate adaptation for Amazon’s corporate headquarters in downtown Seattle. .
Amazon continues to play a role in Jamaat’s current job; The company’s second U.S. campus, located across the river from DC, offers a friendly competition for the talent it wants to attract to the innovation district.
“We are building this project as the third tier of the DC economy,” he says. “Here are all the elements to create another Kendall Square: a talent pool, transit access, a partnership with the city, and a committed university partner. The physical infrastructure already exists; We just have to adapt them to technology-related uses. We are only at the beginning of this process, and I am a small part of a much larger puzzle. This job has everything I hoped for after MIT. “