Jessica Lappin is the President of the Alliance for Downtown New York. The organization manages New York City’s largest Business Improvement District (BID) and provides service, advocacy, research and information to advance Lower Manhattan as a global model of a 21st century Central Business District for businesses, residents and visitors. Lappin also serves as the President of its sister organization, the Downtown Lower Manhattan Association.
A lifelong New Yorker, and recent Crain’s “40 Under 40” honoree, Ms. Lappin has a distinguished record in civic life and public service. Since taking the helm of the Alliance in February 2014, Lappin has emerged as the voice of the downtown business community and ensured that the BID remains at the forefront of efforts to shape the neighborhood. Under her leadership, the Alliance has advocated successfully for incentives to improve the business climate, significantly expanded its free public WiFi network, instituted a district-wide solar-powered recycling program and helped secure nearly $15 million in resiliency funding for Lower Manhattan. Lappin has also led the organization’s economic development efforts to create a first-of-its kind innovation hub, work space and collaboration center called Lower Manhattan HQ.
Prior to her tenure at the Alliance, Lappin was elected to serve two terms in the New York City Council, representing the Upper East Side, East Midtown, and Roosevelt Island, and was praised by the New York Times for her “steely resolve, dedication, and energy.” She played a key role in bringing the CornellTechnion Applied Science and Engineering Campus to Roosevelt Island, oversaw the approval of over 20,000 new public school seats citywide and 5 new schools on the East Side, helped keep 100 senior centers from closing, expanded the city’s recycling efforts and spearheaded the successful development of four new waterfront parks. And, as Co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus, she authored a nationally recognized, landmark bill to protect women’s health and reproductive rights.
The Aspen Institute, a renowned international think tank, selected her as a Rodel Fellow in 2011. The Rodel program is focused on transcending political partisanship and addressing overarching questions of leadership and effective governance. Alumni include Congresswomen Gabby Giffords and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
She also serves on the Steering Committee of the Association for a Better New York (ABNY) and the boards of the FDR Memorial and Four Freedoms Park, Battery Conservancy, American Skin Association, and as an Ex Officio member of New York City Center and NYC & Company.
Lappin lives in Manhattan with her husband and two sons. She graduated from Georgetown University, Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude, and from Stuyvesant High School, where she was in the first class to graduate from its Lower Manhattan location