Randy Background

My entire career has been devoted to public service, in many forms. I began as a Peace Corps Volunteer, in Iran. I went on to various social/economic justice workplaces including a pioneering Fairtrade organization (SERRV), Illinois-based Community & Economic Development Foundation (CEDF), Salvation Army World Service Office, International Voluntary Services, AARP, and most recently, Rural Development and Farm Service Agency of USDA. Since 2019, I was an active member of Takoma Park Mobilization’s “Climate Action Coffee”, involving both Pollinators and Takoma Stormwater Solutions groups. I began my role as Council Member Ward 3 in November 2022.

Additional Background:

  • My wife (Julia Jarvis) and I moved into our home on Gude Ave., Takoma Park in 1992 and raised our twin daughters (Jeanne and Lauren) here. They attended our local public schools starting with Takoma Park Elementary and culminating at Blair High School. My active engagement in Takoma Park affairs includes early work with the Takoma Main Street program and the Piney Branch PTA. For two decades I have played an active role in the Interfaith Families Project (IFFP) which was begun in Takoma Park. For the past three years, I have volunteered with Climate Action Coffee, an environmental education and advocacy group (part of Takoma Park Mobilization). My focus has been ecosystem restoration, native plants and storm water issues. 

  • After 17 years with United States Department of Agriculture/Farm Service Agency and Rural Development, retired in 2017 as a Management Analyst. My specialty was strategic planning and rural community & economic development.

  • Volunteered with the Takoma Mainstreet Program which worked with OTBA to contract out and produce a Market Analysis of the Takoma Mainstreet corridor.

  • Served as Planning Consultant for Washington, DC-based AARP, including stint as Acting Florida State Director.

  • Served as Director of Development for Washington, DC-based International Voluntary Services (IVS), an early model for the American Peace Corps.

  • Served as Regional Coordinator (for Southeast Asia) for Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO), based in Washington D.C. My focus was training and grant management for Pakistan programs.

  • Served as Director of the Illinois-based Community Economic Development Foundation (CEDF) with focus on county-wide outreach and organizational identity.

  • Received a MA degree in Political Science Magna Cum Laude with honors from Illinois State University, Normal, IL.

  • Served thirteen years in senior staff positions for one of the earliest US “Fairtrade” organizations (SERRV), based in New Windsor, MD.  Included marketing, design and management of producer and product evaluation systems.

  • Served as a volunteer with the American Peace Corps in Teheran, Iran, teaching art and designing crafts.

  • Received a BA in Performing Arts and minor in Spanish from LaVerne University, LaVerne, CA that included one semester at Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia.

  • Raised by parents Wayne and Lucile Gibson along with two siblings in Castro Valley, CA.

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