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Board of Advisors

Carol Burns
Katherine Craven
Amy Dain
Tiziana Dearing
Ben Forman
David S. Friedman
Dan Kennedy
Renée Landers
Travis McCready
Mary Jo Meisner
Philip X. Puccia
Jerome Lyle Rappaport
Paul J. Scapicchio
James Segel
Helene Solomon
Kevin J. Sullivan
Joan Wallace Benjamin
Timothy M. Warren, Jr.

The Board of Advisors is a diverse group of civic leaders with a keen interest in improving the governance of the Greater Boston region. The board meets on a regular basis and plays a valuable role in advising Rappaport Institute staff on current and potential projects. 

Carol Burns is a principal of Taylor & Burns Architects. Her firm helps organizations and institutions change their physical environments, embodying and advancing missions in built form. Designing for arts, education and communities, Taylor & Burns shapes environments inspired by ideas arising from disciplined study of client space needs and resource limits. Their designs connect to social, cultural, and natural patterns larger than the project boundaries, especially adjoining landscapes and buildings. In Boston, Carol serves as Chair of the Boston Art Commission and Designator to the Henderson Fund. She founded with others at the Boston Society of Architects the BSA Research Program which provides grant support for original research in architecture. She serves Ohio State University as the national architect on the Design Review Board. In addition to practice, she directed the Harvard Institute of Affordable Housing and has taught at Harvard, MIT, and Yale; Ms. Burns is currently a faculty member at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston and is affiliated with Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. She has co-authored three books as well as numerous articles in professional journals and is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

Carol Burns

Katherine Craven is the Chief Administrative Officer of Babson College, Previously she was the Executive Director of the UMASS Building Authority. Previously she served as Executive Director was of the Massachusetts School Building Authority by former State Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill in November 2004. In November 2010, Ms. Craven was appointed first Deputy Treasurer by newly elected State Treasurer, Steve Grossman. The first Deputy Treasurer plays a principal role in helping the Treasurer manage his overall responsibilities. Prior to her work at the MSBA, Ms. Craven served as Director of Policy for the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Ms. Craven has assisted in the drafting of 10 state budgets and hundreds of supplemental and capital appropriations bills appropriating billions of dollars through thousands of line items. Prior to assuming this role, she served as deputy budget director for the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Amy Dain is a consultant currently working with UMass Boston’s new Collins Center for Public Management to provide technical assistance to the new MassStat network of communities with performance management programs. Previously she was a project manager at Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, where she researches issues pertaining to the environment, housing, land use, and city management. In 2004 she oversaw the joint Pioneer Institute/Rappaport Institute Housing Regulations of Massachusetts Municipalities Database project, which surveyed 187 communities in Eastern Massachusetts. Prior to joining Pioneer in 2004, Ms. Dain coordinated Government Affairs at the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, volunteered in Israel, and worked as an environmental organizer in the Berkshires. As a Rappaport Fellow in 2002, Ms. Dain served as an intern at the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs.  Ms. Dain received her Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in 2003.

Amy Dain

Tiziana Dearing is Associate Professor of Macro Practice at the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work focusing on social innovation and leadership. She is the former Executive Director of Boston Rising and former President of Catholic Charities of Boston. From 2003 to 2006, Ms. Dearing served as Executive Director of the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University. Prior to joining the Hauser Center, Ms. Dearing served in a number of consultant roles for nonprofit organizations including faith-based organizations, specializing in strategy, organizational development, executive coaching, conflict and group problem solving, program start-up and ethics. Ms. Dearing was a Fortune 500 management consultant in the mid-1990s and got her professional start in microlending in Chicago, IL.

Tiziana Dearing
Ben Forman is the research director at MassINC, a nonpartisan public policy think tank. Previously, he served as a researcher at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. Mr. Forman also has both public and private sector experience. He oversaw strategic planning for the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation, and worked as a consultant at Nathan Associates, a global economic development consulting firm. As a Rappaport Fellow in 2003, Mr. Forman served as an intern at the city of New Bedford. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Trinity College and a master’s degree in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

David S. Friedman is Senior Vice President/Special Counsel for the Boston Red Sox, and Senior Counsel for the Club’s parent corporation, New England Sports Ventures. Mr. Friedman previously served as First Assistant Attorney General for Massachusetts, where he advised A.G. Martha Coakley and managed an office of 490 staff, supervising all aspects of civil and criminal law enforcement and representation of state agencies. Before that, from 2003 to 2006, he served as Counsel and Chief Policy Advisor to Massachusetts Senate President Robert E. Travaglini, where he worked on the state’s landmark health care legislation, economic development policy, and a broad range of other issues. He also worked for several years in private practice at the law firm of Hill & Barlow, and he served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and federal appeals court Judge Michael Boudin.

David Friedman

Dan Kennedy is an Assistant Professor at Northeastern University's School of Journalism. He teaches news reporting, digital and social media, press law and other journalism courses. He writes for the Nieman Journalism Lab, the Huffington Post and other publications, and is a panelist on Beat the Press, a weekly media roundtable on WGBH-TV (Channel 2). He also writes the blog Media Nation. A former media columnist for the Boston Phoenix, the Guardian and CommonWealth magazine, he is the 2001 recipient of the National Press Club's Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism. His most recent book, The Wired City: Reimagining Journalism and Civic Life in the Post-Newspaper Age (University of Massachusetts, 2013), tells the story of the New Haven Independent, a nonprofit community website in Connecticut that is at the leading edge of reinventing local journalism, as well as several similar projects. From 1979 to 1988, he was a reporter and editor for the Daily Times Chronicle of Woburn, Massachusetts.

Dan Kennedy

Renée Landers is Professor of Law at Suffolk University Law School and teaches administrative law, constitutional law, and health law. She is the Faculty Director of the school’s Health and Biomedical Law Concentration. President of the Boston Bar Association in 2003-2004, she was the first woman of color and the first law professor to serve in that position. She has worked in private practice and served as Deputy General Counsel for the U.S. Department of health and Human Services and as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Justice during the Clinton Administration. Professor Landers is a member of the Massachusetts Commission on Judicial Conduct and was recently elected Vice Chair of the Commission. She was a member of the Supreme Judicial Court’s committees studying gender bias and racial and ethnic bias in the courts.

Renee Landers

Travis McCready is the Vice President for Programs for The Boston Foundation and the former Executive Director of the Kendall Square Association, leading the efforts to preserve, promote and advance the interests of Kendall Square, the densest square mile of innovation on the planet and a vibrant place to live, work and play. Travis was previously the COO and CFO of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, where he oversaw all operations and finance for the Commonwealth’s three convention centers including the award-winning Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. He also served as Chief of Staff of the Boston Foundation, one of the nation’s oldest and largest community foundations, and Director of Community Affairs for Harvard University. In 2009, the Boston Business Journal named Travis one of the area’s top “40 under 40” young business leaders. Travis currently serves as a trustee of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, an overseer of the Institute of Contemporary Art, and director of the Boston Public Market Association. He received his B.A. from Yale University and J.D. from University of Iowa.

Travis McCready

Mary Jo Meisner joined the Boston Foundation in November 2001 as Vice President for Communications, Community Relations and Public Affairs. In her current capacity, she is responsible for all of the Foundation's communications, media relations, public affairs, and civic leadership activities, including the Boston Indicators Project and helping shaping the Foundation's public policy initiatives. Prior to joining the Foundation, Meisner spent 25 years in the newspaper business as a reporter, editor and news executive at newspapers throughout the United States, including the Community Newspaper Company, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Washington Post, San Jose (CA) Mercury News and Philadelphia Daily News. She started her career as a reporter for the Wilmington News-Journal in Wilmington, Delaware. She has served as a Pulitzer Prize juror three times and was chair of the 1996 ASNE Writing Awards. In addition, she has taught various writing, editing, journalism ethics and management courses at the Maynard Institute, The Poynter Institute for Media Affairs and the American Press Institute.

Mary Jo Meisner

Philip Puccia is Senior Vice President for Education and Not-for Profit Banking at JP Morgan. He was also Executive Director with J.P. Morgan Securities in Public Finance providing investment banking services to state level issuers across New England. He has extensive experience in managing and improving governmental operations and finances. He led the successful turn-around of the City of Springfield's finances by balancing three consecutive budgets, eliminating a deficit of $41 million, successfully negotiating labor contracts and improving the City's bond rating from junk to investment grade. He also ran a start-up smart card company with a chip payment application for parking. He worked at three Massachusetts transportation agencies where he focused on budget and operational improvements and efficiencies. Mr. Puccia’s transportation experience includes service as both Chief of Staff and Deputy General Manager of the MBTA, where he managed a budget crisis, instituted a new capital planning process and served on the MBTA Pension Board. In addition, he served on the MBTA Forward Funding Commission in 2001 and participated in several transportation industry interest groups. Mr. Puccia holds a B.A. from Fordham University and an M.B.A. from the University of Massachusetts in Boston.

Jerome Lyle Rappaport has made major contributions to the shaping of Boston over the past 40 years as a real estate developer, businessman, lawyer, political leader, government official, and philanthropist. Born and raised in New York City, he graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School simultaneously before turning 21. Upon graduating, he served as assistant campaign manager for Mayor John Hynes and was one of the original founders of the New Boston Committee, a reform group that served as a catalyst for Boston’s rebirth. He was appointed by Mayor Hynes to lead the city’s Hoover Commission, which helped reorganize and streamline city government. After serving Mayor Hynes in the city’s Corporation Counsel Office, Mr. Rappaport left the public sector to pursue a career in law and real estate. Working with partners, he built Charles River Park between 1960 and 1975. Today, he is Chairman of New Boston Fund, Inc., one of New England’s leading private real estate investment, development, and management companies.


Mr. Rappaport has long considered education to be an essential vehicle for improving the quality of government and the urban environment. He has founded a number of institutions and forums to raise awareness of important public issues, including the Harvard Law School Forum, the New England University Radio Group, two Rappaport Urban Fellowships at the Kennedy School, the Rappaport Scholarship Fund at Harvard Medical School to support graduate research work on Alzheimer’s disease, the Rappaport Research Scholarship to support neuroscience research through Partners Healthcare System, and a scholarship program for academic assistants at Hampshire College.

Jerome Lyle Rappaport

Paul J. Scapicchio is a Senior Vice President at ML Strategies, the government relations arm of Mintz, Levin, Ferris, Cohen, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. From 1997-2006, Mr. Scapicchio served as a member of the Boston City Council. During that time, he chaired the Council’s Committee on Aviation and Transportation, the Committee on Intergovernmental Relations and the Committee on Economic Development. An expert in land use and planning, he oversaw the City’s financing of the Boston Convention & Exposition Center as well as the City’s management of the Big Dig Project. Paul currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Boston Chapter of NAIOP, the Board of Directors for the Greater Boston YMCA, the American Council of Young Political Leaders, the Downtown North Association and the Boston Latin School Association. Paul was a Sheila Burke Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government where he received his MPA in 2003.

Paul J. Scapicchio

James Segel recently returned to Smith, Segel, and Ruddock from serving for four years as Special Counsel to Congressman Barney Frank, then Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee (2007-2011). Jim was extensively involved in working on what became the Dodd-Frank Bill as well as dealing with the fall-out surrounding the financial crisis that began in2008. In addition, Jim worked extensively on banking, housing, insurance, municipal finance and other issues within the jurisdiction of the House Committee on Financial Services. He served as liaison to other Congressional Members of the Committee, to Massachusetts governmental officials, including the Governor’s office and the many mayors’ offices; as liaison to Massachusetts businesses and advocacy groups. After serving in the state legislature as a Representative from Brookline, from 1973 to 1978, he successfully ran Barney Frank’s first Congressional Campaign and then became the first Executive Director of the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA), where he served with distinction for eight years. In the 1980's. Mr. Segel was recruited to join a select team of experts to help revamp the state's then-poorly performing pension system, work that ultimately led to the creation of the state's Pension Reserve Investment Management Board (PRIM). He also served on the Hamill Commission on Taxes, as a member of former United States Senator Paul Tsongas’ Commission on the Environment, as chair of Boston Mayor Thomas Menino's Special Health Care Commission, whose work led to the successful merger of Boston City Hospital and University Hospital, and more recently as a member of the Municipal Finance Task Force. He also served as President of Temple Israel of Boston ( the largest reform tmeple in New England). After a brief stint at Salomon Brothers, Mr. Segel became of counsel to Hale and Dorr (later to become Wilmer Hale) for nine years and then formed his own law firm with partners : Smith Segel and Ruddock. He lives in Needham with his wife, Mimi, and has four children.

James Segel

Helene Solomon is the founder & CEO of Solomon McCown, a strategic communications firm that focuses on real estate, health care and elite non-profit clients. She has participated in a wide variety of panel discussions and forums that examine the relationship between the media and the organizations they cover as it impacts brands and leaders. She has provided commentary nationally on CNN, NBC Nightly News, NBC's Today Show, MSNBC, and FOX TV News, and in local print and broadcast media. Helene is active in Greater Boston community affairs, serving on the board of directors of a number of local non-profit organizations. She is a member of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and, has served on the Massachusetts eHealth Institute’s Consumer Education Workgroup, and previously as Chair of the Town of Brookline’s Transportation Board. Helene has a master's degree in communications/public affairs journalism from The American University and a bachelor's degree in public communication from Boston University.

Helene Solomon
Kevin J. Sullivan is a Senior Vice President in Government Banking at JP Morgan. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President and Director of Government Banking at Sovereign Bank. Sullivan served as the Secretary of Administration and Finance for the Commonwealth from 2002 to 2003. Before that, he was active in transportation, beginning as an Associate Commissioner of MassHighway in 1993, then as Deputy Commissioner and Commissioner. Following that, Sullivan became the Secretary of Transportation, serving from 1999 to 2002. He began his career in public service as an Alderman in Lawrence, MA and was elected Mayor of Lawrence in 1986, a position he served until 1993. He has also served on the state’s Transportation Finance Commision.

Joan Wallace Benjamin has returned as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Home for Little Wanderers after being Governor Deval Patrick's chief of staff for his transition team. The Home for Little Wanderers is New England’s largest child welfare agency and one of the nations oldest with a history dating back to 1799. At the Home, Dr. Wallace-Benjamin created a new strategic plan, a state of the art performance and outcomes department and started a forward thinking integrated service model. She has also served as Chief Executive Officer of The Urban League of Massachusetts, Director of Operations for Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston; Deputy Director of ABCD Head Start; as a Research Analyst for ABT Associates, and a consultant with Whitehead Mann, a global executive recruiting firm. She is a Trustee of Wellesley College and a member of the Board of Overseers for The Heller School for Social Policy & Management and has been a Corporation Member of Northeastern University and a Trustee of Pine Manor College.

Joan Wallace Benjamin
Timothy M. Warren, Jr. is the chief executive officer of The Warren Group. The Warren Group is a publishing and information services company that is now in its fourth generation of family ownership and traces its roots to 1872. The Warren Group has been collecting and publishing public records throughout its history and is best known in Massachusetts for its real estate newspaper, Banker & Tradesman. In recent years, under Mr. Warren’s leadership, The Warren Group has moved to electronic delivery of public records data. He often provides analysis of real estate issues to news outlets such as The Boston Globe, WRUR, WBZ radio, Boston Herald, and NECN. He joined The Warren Group in 1973, became its president in 1988, then its CEO in 2004. Timothy Warren, Jr.