Jess Ducey is the Development and Communications Manager supporting TakeRoot Justice’s communications, stakeholder engagement, foundations, individual giving, and events work. Jess moved to New York from Aotearoa New Zealand, where they worked in a variety of community engagement, fundraising, events, and arts production roles. They co-founded the Aotearoa Tech Union and Queer AF, Te Whanganui-a-Tara’s first queer arts festival, and also served on the boards of Wellington Rape Crisis and Abortion Rights Aotearoa. Jess has a background in international and community development, and previously worked in Jordan, Ethiopia, and the Marshall Islands. They hold bachelor’s degrees in History and Psychology from the University of Florida and an MLitt in International Security Studies from the University of St Andrews (Scotland), where their dissertation explored the politicization of humanitarian aid funding.
Jess also works as a theater producer with a particular interest in new work, musicals, and stories of queer joy. They have worked with companies including Butch Mermaid Productions, Clown Gym, and Moxie Arts. Outside of work, they enjoy nature, knitting, elaborate dinner parties, public transit, the arts, books, cheese, bikes, and patting other people’s dogs.