Board of Advisors
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 specializes in working with education and community groups that are motivated to attain their next level of excellence by purposefully engaging with their built environment. Inspired by ideas arising from disciplined study of client space needs and resource limits, Taylor & Burns embodies and advances missions in built form. She has founded several initiatives focused on architectural practice including the AIA Women’s Leadership Summit, semi-annual national conferences focused since 2009 on the status of women in the profession. 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.
Jessica Casey is the Deputy COO for Service, Planning, and Strategy for the MBTA. She was previously the Economic Development Director at the Plymouth Regional Economic Development Foundation, a collaborative non-profit focused on job growth and workforce development in Plymouth and the region. Ms. Casey also worked at the Project on Municipal Innovation Advisory Group at the Harvard Kennedy School and at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, where she led research and strategic policy development in the areas of housing production and economic development. She was also a Rappaport Public Policy Summer Fellow and worked at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development in 2011.
Stephen Chan is Vice President of Strategy and Operations at the Boston Foundation (TBF), where he oversees strategy and operations, board relations, performance evaluation, and human resources. He also leads a portfolio of external initiatives including the Foundation’s forums and convenings, and the Boston Indicators Project, a city-wide data and research center. Before his work at TBF, Mr. Chan served as an Advisor to Mayor Thomas M. Menino at the City of Boston where he developed and managed public-private initiatives in education, community development, and human services. He has also held a number of consulting roles, including advising the Boston Public Schools Office of Human Resources on the district’s teacher recruitment strategy and conducting research for a healthcare distribution industry association at Booz & Co. He serves on the boards of Bunker Hill Community College, Asian American Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, Associated Grant Makers and Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center. He received his MBA from Harvard Business School, MPA from Harvard Kennedy School, and BA with Honors in Public Policy from Stanford University.
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.
Tiziana Dearing is Professor of Macro Practice at the Boston College School of Social Work focusing on poverty, inequality, social innovation and leadership. She is the former Executive Director of Boston Rising and served as the first woman President of Catholic Charities of Boston. Ms. Dearing also 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.
Brian Doherty is the General Agent/Secretary Treasurer of the Building and Construction Trades Council of the Metropolitan District. His approach to this work draws on his passion for social and economic justice. He sees his role as being a liaison between building trades unions and progressive social and political groups and campaigns to promote worker justice, gender equity, racial equality and economic fairness. Born to Irish-immigrant parents, he is a lifelong resident of Dorchester—a diverse, working-class neighborhood in Boston. He started his career in Laborers Local Union 223 in Boston. From 2011-2013, Mr. Doherty was the Coordinator of the Building Pathways Pre-Apprenticeship Program, which provides career pathways for low-income residents to family-sustaining careers in union construction, designed to increase diversity in the trades for women and people of color. He was the Coordinator of the All Dorchester Sports League— a local nonprofit which provides academic, athletic, fitness and nutrition support to youth in and around Dorchester while working full-time in construction.
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.
Stephanie Hirsch currently serves as Somerville’s Community Cabinet Coordinator as part of the City’s participation in the Harvard By All Means Initiative. She works with the City and Schools on cross-jurisdictional problem solving. Prior to working for the Somerville Public Schools, she worked with Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone to found the SomerStat program. Ms. Hirsch helped oversee the initial rollout of Somerville’s 311 call center, founded a resident version of SomerStat called ResiStat, launched the City’s wrap-around program for City children, which is called SomerPromise, and replicated SomerStat in the Schools. In addition to her work in Somerville, she works as a Senior Associate at the Collins Center for University of Massachusetts Boston. In this role, she helped launch Municipal StatNet in 2009 and School StatNet in 2013, which are both funded by innovation grants from the State. Both StatNet programs are regional networks of municipalities/districts that share data and meet regularly to discuss best practices.
Tom Keane is a regular columnist for the op-ed page of The Boston Globe. Mr. Keane's pieces have also appeared on the pages of the Boston Herald, ArchitectureBoston and several other publications. He can be seen and heard frequently on local television and radio shows. Mr. Keane is also general counsel for the AppleTree Institute, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit focused on providing accelerated early language and literacy programs to under-resourced preschoolers. In addition, he is general counsel for SmartPower, a nonprofit that advocates for and promotes conservation and alternative energies. He has also held a number of other senior-level positions. He was senior vice president and general counsel for Mosaica Education, Inc., a global education company headquartered in New York. He also was the executive director of the Boston Society of Architects, managing it through a time of transition after the retirement of its long-time executive director. Before then he was a general partner of Murphy & Partners, a New York-based private equity fund. In addition, from 1994 through 1999, he was a Boston city councilor, representing Boston's district eight.
Dan Kennedy is an Associate 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 WGBHNews.org, the Nieman Journalism Lab, and other publications. 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.
Renée Landers is Professor of Law at Suffolk University Law School and the Faculty Director of the school’s Health and Biomedical Law concentration. President of the Boston Bar Association in 2003-2004, she was a member of the Harvard Board of Overseers, serving as its president from 1996 - 1997. 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 former member and Vice Chair of the Massachusetts Commission on Judicial Conduct. Currently, she is Chair of the Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice of the American Bar Association and is a member of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's Committee on Judicial Ethics.
Vivien Li is the President and CEO of Riverlife, a non-profit organization which works to reclaim, restore, and promote Pittsburgh's riverfronts. Previously, while Executive Director and then President of The Boston Harbor Association, she was a major force behind the completion of the 41-miles of Boston's HarborWalk public access system, helped to convene the first-ever "Boston Harbor Sea Level Rise Forum" in 2010, and co-chaired the City of Boston's Climate Action Plan Steering Committee. She is an overseer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a member of Carlow University President's Advisory Council, a member of the national Sierra Club's Finance and Risk Management Committee, and a committee member of the New Frontier Award presented by Harvard's Institute of Politics and John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. She has degrees from Barnard College and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University.
Travis McCready is the President and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, a $1 billion public–private partnership with the mission of advancing the life sciences sector in Massachusetts. He directs and oversees the center’s investment strategy, along with the agency’s operations, programs, and partnerships. Previously, Mr. McCready served as the Vice President for Programs at The Boston Foundation, directing the Foundation’s grants and community investment strategy to benefit the people of Greater Boston. Prior to that, he was the first Executive Director of the Kendall Square Association, responsible for growing the innovation economy of Kendall Square, one of the Commonwealth’s most economically robust districts. He has also held the Chief Operating Officer and CFO positions at the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, overseeing the operations and finances for the three convention centers in Massachusetts.
Lissy Medvedow is the Executive Director of the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Policy at Boston College Law School. She has a long record of nonprofit management, including her most recent leadership position as Executive Director of Discovering Justice, a civic education organization housed at the Moakley U.S. Courthouse in Boston, and her previous position as Executive Director of the Women’s Bar Association and Women’s Bar Foundation in Massachusetts. Ms. Medvedow holds a Master’s of Education degree and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law. Following law school, Ms. Medvedow taught at Suffolk University Law School, after which she clerked in the Massachusetts Appeals Court and the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Before going into nonprofit management, she served for ten years as an Assistant Attorney General in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office.
Mary Jo Meisner is an Advanced Leadership Fellow at Harvard University. Prior to being selected as a fellow for 2017, Meisner was Vice President for Communications, Community Relations and Public Affairs at the Boston Foundation for 15 years, where she was responsible for all of the Foundation’s communications, media and government relations; its public policy efforts and civic leadership activities, including the Boston Indicators Project. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2001, Ms. Meisner spent 25 years in the newspaper business. Most recently, she was Editor and Vice Chairman of Community Newspaper Company of Boston. Prior to that, she was Editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Managing Editor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram; City Editor of the Washington Post; Metro Editor of the San Jose Mercury News; and City Editor of the Philadelphia Daily News. She has served as a juror for the Pulitzer Prize numerous times and has taught journalism ethics at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.
Bruce Percelay is chairman of The Mount Vernon Company, a Boston based multi-family apartment developer. The company has received both local and national awards for the quality of its work and most recently developed the Allston Green District considered, among the most environmentally sensitive apartment communities in the country. Mr. Percelay began his career in advertising and authored the top selling business book, Packaging Your Home for Profit, published by Little Brown and Company and is also the publisher of Nantucket Magazine the dominant publication of its kind on the island. Mr. Percelay has served as chairman of the Massachusetts Chapter of Make-A-Wish Foundation, chairman of Habitat for Humanity, directed the construction of The Nantucket Whaling Museum and has served on the board of YouthBuild Boston. He is currently chairman of the capital campaign for Nantucket Cottage Hospital and responsible for the naming gift for the building. Mr. Percelay lives in Boston with his wife, Elisabeth and two children William and Charlie.
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.
James Segel presently serves as president of the Boston Asset Management Association and represents them in Washington and Boston. He also serves other clients in Washington. Previously he served for four years as Special Counsel to Congressman Barney Frank, then Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee (2007-2011). During this time, Mr. Segel worked on TARP-the bank bailout bill and the major financial services reform bill known as Dodd-Frank. In addition, Mr. Segel 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; and as liaison to Massachusetts businesses and advocacy groups. Previously Segel had served in the Massachusetts General Court 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, and as a member of former United States Senator Paul Tsongas’ Commission on the Environment. Both Mayor Flynn and Mayor Thomas Menino asked him to Chair the Special Health Care Commission, whose work led to the successful merger of Boston City Hospital and University Hospital. He also served as President of Temple Israel of Boston (the largest reform temple 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 is a graduate of Harvard College, Boston College Law School, and the Kennedy School. He lives in Needham with his wife, Mimi. He has four children.
Helene Solomon is the founder & CEO of Solomon McCown that provides integrated communications, government relations and crisis communications services to corporate, 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. Helene 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. She is active in Greater Boston community affairs, serving on the board of directors of a number of local non-profit organizations including Building Impact and The Commonwealth Institute. Through her community work she has been honored with a number of awards; most recently the Lowell Richards Award from the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership, Banker & Tradesman's Women of FIRE Award and she was inducted into YW Boston’s Academy of Women Achievers. 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.
Kevin J. Sullivan is Vice President of Strategic Corporate Relations and Engagement at Babson College. Previously, he was Senior Vice President in Government Banking at JP Morgan. He also was a Senior Vice President and Director of Government Banking at Sovereign Bank. Mr. 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, Mr. 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.
Monica Tibbits-Nutt, AICP, LEED AP BD+C is the Executive Director of the 128 Business Council where she has worked since 2010, advising communities in the 128 Corridor in transit planning and overseeing the operation of 12 shuttle routes with nearly half a million in annual ridership. Ms. Tibbits-Nutt also has experience with the MBTA, where she served as a Transportation Planning Consultant to the MBTA Advisory Board, and as Executive Director and Transportation Planner for TransitWorks, providing research evaluation for the MBTA and Secretary of Transportation. She holds a B.S. from the University of Southern Indiana and a Masters of City and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University. She serves on the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Board of Directors and the Fiscal Management and Control Board that currently oversees the MBTA.
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.
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.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.