Janae Ladet, MPA '16

November 14, 2014

Tells us about your hometown.

I am from Houston, Texas. Houston is in an interesting stage developmentally, and is growing at an exponential rate. Houston is super diverse, and has a lively arts and culture scene. While there is a lot of prosperity due to the oil and gas industry and medical field, there's a lot of disparity. As the city continues to grow and prosper, I hope to return to help ensure there is equity in that development. We also are one of the largest cities in the county without zoning. Imagine that!

What were you doing prior to joining Fels?

Prior to Fels, I was working in the Houston office of Local Initiatives Support Cooperation (LISC). I worked for our sustainable communities program called Greater Opportunities (GO) Neighborhoods. GO Neighborhoods aimed to help build vibrant communities through affordable housing, enhancing community safety, and developing community leaders. We were a small staff, so I did some of everything in this position: grants management, research, event planning, marketing, etc.

What attracted you to the Fels' degree program?

I was attracted to Fels because of its location. Philadelphia has a long history of community development, and is in a comeback stage. I thought it would serve as a great playground to study community and economic development. I was also attracted to Fels' small size, and the numerous resources that come along with being at Penn.

Tell us about your current job or internship.

My current internship is with the City of Philadelphia Commerce Department, which is housed in the Office of Economic and Neighborhood Development. As a Commerce Fellow, I work on projects that help stem economic development in Philadelphia's neighborhoods, such as Business Improvement Districts (BIDS) and commercial beautification initiatives.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my spare time, I like to visit Philadelphia's various museums and galleries. While at Penn, I have enjoyed sitting in on lectures about race, justice, and equity. I also love live music, so I'm taking advantage of shows at World Live Cafe and other music venues. My mother and I used to own a small catering business, so I love to cook and come up with new recipes. I would consider myself a foodie!

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Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829