Josh Bagnato

2003 Public Policy Summer Fellow

May 1, 2003

Graduate Degree:Boston University, School of Management
Undergraduate Degree:Hamilton College
Areas of Interest: Renewable energy and natural resource protection
Mentor:David Ellis, former president of Museum of Science
Agency:Executive Office of Environmental Affairs
Supervisor:Ellen Roy Herzfelder, Secretary of Environmental Affairs, Stephen Pritchard, Program Director, Office of Public/Private Partnerships and Betsy Shure Gross, Special Assistant for Community Preservation
Project Description: As a Rappaport Fellow, Josh began working for Secretary of Environmental Affairs Roy Herzfelder within the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA) in May, 2003. The EOEA is the office charged with managing all of Massachusetts’ state environmental offices. When he arrived the EOEA proposed merging the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) and the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) to create a new entity, known as the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).

Betsy Shure Gross, then a Special Assistant for Community Preservation at the EOEA, had proposed the formation of a new Office of Public Private Partnerships to support the newly created DCR. In early June, when the merger and subsequent proposal were approved by the legislature, Bagnato was asked by Ms. Shure Gross to submit a plan for this office’s structure. He spent the next six weeks researching and designing this framework. In late July, he formally submitted his proposal to both the Secretary and the transition team, the group responsible for the merger. Many of his ideas from this proposal were announced at an August 18, 2003 press conference announcing the Office of Public Private Partnerships to the public.

Bagnato says that during this fellowship, he learned that to achieve change within the public sector, it is important to market your ideas to the constituent base. Since the structure does not allow for vertical communication of ideas from within the agencies, one also needs access to upper management to create change.