Jai Cole, Executive Director of the Park Authority since 2021, serves as an ex-officio Director of the Park Foundation Board.
Ms. Cole is a park professional with more than two decades of leadership experience with award-winning recreation and park agencies. She comes to the Park Authority from the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Montgomery Parks (M-NCPPC, Montgomery Parks) where she served as Chief of the Park Planning and Stewardship Division since 2018.
In her role as Chief of the Park Planning and Stewardship Division, Cole provided overall strategic direction for long-range planning, natural resource management, cultural resource stewardship and interpretation, trail planning and construction, development review, and environmental project review for a 37,000 acre, nationally accredited, six-time Gold Medal winning park system. The M-NCPPC, Montgomery Parks has a $127 million annual budget and a $317 million, six-year Capital Improvement Program budget.
Cole previously served with M-NCPPC, Montgomery Parks as their Natural Resource Manager, and has held several other positions in that agency related to natural resource management and aquatic ecology beginning in 2005. Cole also worked as the Director of Adult Programs at Reston Community Center from 2003 until 2005.
Cole grew up in Fairfax County, residing in Reston for 25 years. She attended South Lakes High School where she played youth softball, basketball and field hockey. She then went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in biology at the University of North Carolina Greensboro where she played Division I basketball. Cole resides with her husband and two children.