Edward L. Glaeser, the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics in Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, became the Institute’s director in June 2004. Glaeser, who also directs the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, is the author of numerous papers on the determinants of city growth, the role of cities as centers of idea transmission, and a variety of other urban-related topics. Glaeser is the editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics; the co-author (with Alberto Alesina) of Fighting Poverty in the US and Europe(Oxford University Press, 2004); the co-editor (with Claudia Golden) of Corruption and Reform: Lessons From America's Economic History(University of Chicago Press, 2006); and the editor of The Governance of Not-For-Profit Organizations(University of Chicago Press, 2003). He is also the author of Agglomeration, and Spatial Equilibrium(Oxford University Press, 2008) and Rethinking Federal Housing Policy(American Enterprise Institute Press, 2008.) He received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago. He can be reached at 617-495-5140. Complete CV

Steve Poftak is executive director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston. Poftak was Director of Research and Director of the Center for Better Government at the Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research. He has led research projects and authored a number of papers on transportation policy, government efficiency, municipal finance, and job creation. His op-eds have run regularly in newspapers across the state. Previously, Poftak worked at the Commonwealth's Executive Office for Administration and Finance, where he managed the $1.3 billion capital budget, prepared the state's quarterly cash flow reporting, and monitored non-tax revenue receipts. His prior experience includes service as Director of Corporate Finance for a privatization fund in Southeastern Europe. He holds an MBA from the Olin School at Babson College and a BA in Political Science from Middlebury College. He is a Boston resident, is married, and has children who attend the Boston Public Schools. He can be reached at 617-495-8669.


Polly O'Brienis the Institute's associate director. She was the Institute’s assistant director from 2005 - 2012 and previously was a program manager and administrative assistant at the Institute. Before joining the Institute in 2002, she was a project manager at Sky Dog Technologies, a website design firm in Arlington. She came to that job from the Consensus Building Institute, a conflict and dispute resolution firm in Cambridge where she was webmaster and editor of the organization's newsletter, CBI Reports, and where she assisted in training preparation and project management. O’Brien has also worked for the Boston Natural Areas Fund, where she was curator of an educational study on the history of the Neponset River and oversaw the creation of an exhibit on the Neponset River that traveled to local schools and historical societies. She received an M.A. in classics from Boston University. She can be reached at 617-495-5091.