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Graduate Degree: Harvard Kennedy School/Harvard Business School
Undergraduate Degree: Princeton University
Area of Interest: Workforce Development Issues
Mentors: Jennifer James, MA Office of Workforce Development
Agency: Mayor's Office of Economic Development, City of Boston
Supervisor: Meghan Haggerty, Director of Operations
Project Description: Reilly Kiernan spent the summer in the City of Boston’s Office of Economic Development, where she researched the potential for new public-private financing tools that could help the City move toward a more holistic and proactive paradigm of investing in communities. To support her recommendation, she conducted interviews and read internal documents to understand the nature, scope, and scale of OED’s neighborhood transformation and inclusive economic growth goals. She created an inventory of the wide array of public-private tools the City currently has at its disposal to finance this type of work (compiling examples of developer incentives, Federal/State/Local funding streams, tax credits, etc.). She used this inventory to understand how existing tools could be better coordinated as well as what gaps exist in the toolkit that a new tool should address. Then Reilly profiled examples of innovative public-private community investment in other contexts, distilling key lessons to inform Boston’s approach. Finally, to respond to OED’s goals, given gaps and external case studies, she proposed a high-level recommendation for a new type of tool Boston could explore, articulating the next steps for fleshing out its design and implementation.