Housing Challenges in the Commonwealth: Reflections on Policy and Politics
A Conversation with Aaron Gornstein, Former Massachusetts Undersecretary for Housing and Community Development
Thursday, April 2, 2015
Nye B, 5th floor, Taubman Building

Bring your lunch, dessert provided!

Join us for a lunchtime conversation with Aaron Gornstein, former Massachusetts Undersecretary for Housing and Community Development. Nominated by former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Mr. Gornstein oversaw the Department of Housing and Community Development from 2012-2014.  The department administers nearly $1 billion in state and federal funds for a variety of programs for affordable housing production, community development, municipal assistance, local and regional planning, energy conservation, rental assistance, public housing, and others.  He also served as the chief housing policy advisor to the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development and to the Governor.
Previously, Aaron served as the Executive Director of Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) for 22 years.  CHAPA is a private, non-profit research and advocacy organization working on affordable housing and community development issues in Massachusetts.

Aaron received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his graduate degree from Tufts University’s Department of Urban and Environmental Policy. He has received more than 25 local and national awards and fellowships for his work in advancing affordable housing and community development initiatives and has served on numerous local and national advisory boards and commissions.

Co-sponsored by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston



Public Entrepreneurship 101 with Mitch Weiss
Thursday, April 2, 2015
Bell Hall

Why should entrepreneurs go work with-- and within-- government?  Hear the answer from Mitch Weiss, who created and teaches the Harvard Business School course on Public Entrepreneurship-- on public leaders and private entrepreneurs who invent a difference in the world.  Prior to joining HBS in 2014, Mitch was Chief of Staff and a partner to Boston’s Mayor Thomas Menino.  Mitch helped shape New Urban Mechanics, championed Boston’s Innovation District, and played a key role in starting One Fund Boston.

Co-sponsored by the Entrepreneurship PIC; Regional, State, Local & Tribal Governance (RSLT) PIC; and the Taubman Center for State and Local Government.



Advancing the Frontiers of Citizenship, Finance and Enterprise

Wednesday, April 15, 2015
3:00pm - 5:00pm
Tisch College at Tufts University
Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Hall
10 Upper Campus Road, Medford, MA

Expert panelists:

  • Dr. Jeffrey Liebman, Malcolm Wiener Professor of Public Policy, Director of the Harvard Kennedy School – Social Impact Bond Lab, Former Executive Director and Chief Economist, Office of Management and Budget, The White House
  • Ms. Molly Baldwin, Founder and CEO of Roca Inc.- a non-profit organization committed to investing in the potential of high-risk young people in Massachusetts urban communities
  • Jeff Shumway, Vice President, Advisory Services, Social Finance – nonprofit organization that is dedicated to mobilizing investment capital to drive social progress.


Dr. Brian Bethune, Tufts University Economics Department and Tisch College Faculty Fellow

The practice of “impact investing” – which is defined as financial investments that are intentionally crafted to generate both financial and social returns – has been expanding rapidly in the U.S. and globally in the past decade under the leadership of major foundations, leading universities, social finance NGOs, and pioneering investment banks, including JP Morgan & Chase and Goldman Sachs.

The “blended value” proposition of impact investing is now providing a wide range of innovative opportunities to source and unlock large pools of captive capital, and put this capital to work in minimally capitalized communities and services where there is tremendous potential for economic and social returns. New financial flows into these “social capital markets” accelerated to about $15 billion in 2014.

One of the recent innovations in impact investing is the “social impact bond” a financial instrument that uniquely aligns financial returns with social returns. Successful social outcomes are scientifically measured, validated and valued, generating competitive financial returns for the investors as well as significant social returns in terms of scaling up effective solutions for some of our most pressing societal social problems – affordable housing, early childhood education, the re-integration of veterans, and the tough and hugely expensive problem of recidivism.

The social impact bond was pioneered in the United Kingdom, and was recently introduced into the U.S. capital markets in a number of major metropolitan areas, including Boston, New York and Chicago. We will be taking an in depth look at the social impact bond that provided $27 million in additional funding to scale up the activities of one the premier social service organizations in Massachusetts – and the country for that matter – Roca Inc.

Register here.



Can a Low Cost School - and Home-Based Reading Intervention Improve Reading Comprehension for Low-income Children?  Results from Pilot Efficacy and Longitudinal Effectiveness Trials

Jimmy Kim, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Thursday, April 16, 2015
CGIS South 250

This lecture is part of the Program on Education Policy and Governance Education Policy Research Colloquia series.  The series is free to all in the Harvard community; others please RSVP to A light lunch is provided.  More information can be found here:



Investing in Lower Income Communities: A Continuing Conversation
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Bell Hall, 5th floor Belfer Building
Corner of JFK and Eliot Streets, Cambridge, MA

Lower income communities face continuing challenges in attracting capital for housing and other types of investments. This panel discussion, with speakers representing key stakeholder groups, is aimed at furthering the conversation about the current investment needs facing lower income areas and how lending efforts can best be focused – viable strategies and new ideas. Although the focus will be on the Boston area, the issues discussed have broader relevance.

Elizabeth B. Smith, Executive Director, The Hyams Foundation, Inc. (Moderator)
Janelle Chan, Executive Director, Asian Community Development Corporation
Joe Flatley, President and CEO, Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation
Chrystal Kornegay, Massachusetts Undersecretary for Housing and Community Development
Esther Schlorholtz, Director of Community Investment, Boston Private Bank & Trust Co.

Co-sponsored by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston