Introducing our transition committee
We’re ready to get to work on November 16. Here are the community leaders, activists, and organizers guiding our transition.
The Honorable Kim Janey, Mayor of BostonHonorary Chair
Kim Janey is the 55th Mayor of Boston. She was sworn in as the first woman and the first Black mayor in the City’s history on March 24, 2021. A proud fourth-generation Roxbury resident, Mayor Janey was raised with values that guide her to this day: the importance of education, the power of community organizing, and the fundamental principles of equity and justice. Mayor Janey became a mother in high school and began her advocacy on behalf of children inspired by the interconnection of her own daughter’s experiences with those of other children. In her role at Massachusetts Advocates for Children, Mayor Janey championed systemic policy reforms to increase equity, excellence, access, and opportunity in Boston Public Schools. She placed a special focus on eliminating opportunity and achievement gaps for children of color, immigrant children, students who are learning English, children with special needs, and those living in poverty. Prior to becoming Mayor in 2021, Janey made history in 2017 when she was elected to the Boston City Council as the first woman to represent District 7, which includes Roxbury and parts of the South End, Dorchester, and the Fenway. In 2020, she was elected by her peers as President of the Boston City Council. Mayor Janey has been recognized for her service with a number of awards, including the Boston NAACP Difference Maker Award in 2015 and the coveted Sapphire Award in 2017. She was named one of Boston’s Most Impactful Black Women in 2021. Mayor Janey is the proud mother of daughter Kimesha and a grandmother of three. She lives in Roxbury.
Charlotte Golar RichieTransition Co-Chair
Charlotte Golar Richie serves on the boards of multiple organizations, including several that promote women’s leadership in politics and government, and that connect Roxbury and Dorchester residents to programs to equip them for future success. She represented the 5th Suffolk District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1995 until 1999, when she stepped down to become Chief of Housing and Director of the Department of Neighborhood Development for the City of Boston. Richie's appointment as Housing Chief coincided with Mayor Thomas Menino's decision to elevate the post to a cabinet position. She remained with DND until 2007 when she became Governor Deval Patrick's senior advisor for federal, state and community affairs, and later the executive director of the Governor's re-election committee. From 2010 to 2013, Richie served as Senior Vice President for Public Policy, Advocacy and Government Relations at YouthBuild USA. She ran as a nonpartisan candidate for Mayor of Boston in 2013. From 2014 to 2017 she served as Commissioner of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.
Jay GonzalezTransition Co-Chair
Jay Gonzalez is a partner at the law firm Hinckley Allen representing municipalities in financing and developing capital projects and other governmental programs. Jay also serves as an adjunct professor at Northeastern University Law School where he teaches a course on State and Local Government Law. He has more than 20 years of public and private sector leadership and legal experience, including serving as the President and Chief Executive Officer of CeltiCare Health Plan of Massachusetts and New Hampshire Healthy Families. As Secretary of Administration and Finance for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts under Governor Deval Patrick, Jay managed a $32 billion state budget during the Great Recession and oversaw over 3,000 employees across 18 state agencies. Jay has also served on various state boards and commissions, including as chair of the boards of the Health Connector and the Life Sciences Center. In 2018, he was the Democratic Nominee for Governor of Massachusetts. He also serves on the board of Project Hope, a social service agency in Roxbury. Jay and his wife live in Jamaica Plain.
Mimi RamosTransition Co-Chair
Noemi (Mimi) Ramos is the Executive Director of New England United 4 Justice (NEU4J) and has spent close to 15 years fighting for social, economic and racial justice in Boston, MA. After serving as Massachusetts ACORN’s Head Organizer in Boston for over 6 years, Noemi and 30 other resident leaders founded NEU4J in 2010. NEU4J provides opportunities and concrete tools for low income communities of color to engage in direct action, policy development and movement building. Building strategic partnerships is core to Noemi’s organizing vision. She currently serves in a leadership role in several coalitions, including Right to the City Boston, Community Labor United, Mass Voter Table and the Civic Engagement Initiative, the Yes for a Better Budget Coalition, and Dorchester Not for Sale.
Julian AgyemanTransition Advisor
Julian Agyeman is a Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning and Fletcher Professor of Rhetoric and Debate at Tufts University. He is the originator of the increasingly influential concept of “just sustainabilities”, which explores the intersecting goals of social justice and environmental sustainability. His books include Sustainable Communities and the Challenge of Environmental Justice, Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class and Sustainability and Sharing Cities: A Case for Truly Smart and Sustainable Cities. In 2018, he was awarded the Athena City Accolade by KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, for his "outstanding contribution to the field of social justice and ecological sustainability, environmental policy and planning". He currently serves on the advisory boards of many nonprofits like EcoDistrcts, Shareable, Equiticity and the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy.
Dana AlasTransition Advisor
Dana Alas has spent her career working to improve the job standards of health care workers. As the Organizing Director of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest health care union in Massachusetts, Dana works to increase the power of union members, advocating for and alongside low-income workers, immigrant workers, and workers of color to win some of the highest job standards for health care workers in the country. Since joining 1199 SEIU as a new Organizer in 2003, Dana has risen through the organization’s ranks, gaining extensive experience in grassroots health care organizing, as well as statewide strategic leadership in both Massachusetts and New York. In addition to her grassroots organizing and leadership experience, Dana brings state-level health advocacy expertise and strong connections to emerging leaders and campaigns in many of Massachusetts gateway cities to her role as a member of the Health Care For All Board of Directors. Dana lives in Dorchester with her mother and two sons.
Shawn BrownTransition Advisor
Shawn Brown currently serves as the Executive Director for Youth Guidance Boston where he oversees both the Becoming A Man (BAM) program launched in Boston in April 2017 and Working On Womanhood (WOW) launched in 2021. In a 4 year span Shawn has successfully led the launch of two national evidence based programs in Boston. Both BAM and WOW programs are strategically designed to create safe and student centered support that promotes the academic and social emotional development of young men and women. Brown brings more than 20 years of experience in the fields of youth development and nonprofit leadership in Boston to Youth Guidance Boston. He provides leadership and management for the agency’s new Boston location, which is the first installation of the BAM program outside of the city of Chicago. Formerly, Brown served as Executive Director of Diamond Educators Mentoring, an organization dedicated to improving academic performance of low-income and at-risk youth, working with Boston Public Schools and community providers. Brown received a BA in Sociology from Merrimack College and holds a Nonprofit Management and Leadership Certificate from Boston University’s School of Management.
Joseph ByrneTransition Advisor
Joe Byrne is Executive Secretary and Treasurer of the North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters and a member of Carpenters Local 327. As the top elected labor leader in the region, Byrne leads a diverse, progressive, and sophisticated union that plays an important role at the center of the construction industry. He continues the work of modernizing union operations and creating a culture of responsiveness to the needs of both union members and the union’s employer-partners. A native of South Boston, he is a graduate of the carpenters apprenticeship program. While working in the field he earned a construction management degree from Wentworth Institute of Technology through a joint program between the union and the university.
Ali FongTransition Advisor
Ali Fong is chef and cofounder of Bon Me, a local food truck and restaurant company serving delicious Asian-inspired eats. Bon Me was born in 2010 when Ali and her business partner Patrick Lynch decided to enter the City of Boston’s Food Truck Contest on a whim and surprised themselves by winning. With their win came the opening of the first Bon Me truck in 2011. Today, Bon Me has eight restaurants and nine food truck locations. Bon Me is committed to hiring passionate people, prioritizing their well-being, investing in their future, and providing opportunities for all of its dedicated employees to thrive. Ali’s leadership has shown the positive impact that collaborative business leadership has on workers and communities.
Trish Fontanilla Transition Advisor
Trish Fontanilla is the Head of Community at Simplr, a human-first, machine-enabled customer experience solution that helps brands drive loyalty and increase conversions by engaging customers with fast, scalable, exceptional service. Alongside her work with the Simplr team, Trish is at the helm of CXLife, an exclusive community that fosters connections and career opportunities for CX and customer service professionals looking to grow their skills and learn from peers. Prior to joining Simplr, she held roles at various Boston startups including Head of Community & Customer Experience at Freight Farms, Global Director of Community at Startup Institute, and Vice President of Community & Customer Experience at Vsnap. Trish is also Co-Founder/Chief Energy Officer at BOSFilipinos, a community focused on elevating Filipino culture through events, content, and programming in Boston. In her spare time she’s a volunteer project leader at Boston Cares, mentors entrepreneurs at Babson College’s Women Innovating Now Growth Lab and Boston University’s Innovate@BU, supports girls in tech through Technovation Challenge, and serves on the board of Food For Free.
Rev. Dr. Arlene HallTransition Advisor
Dr. Arlene O. Hall is an Ordained Minister in the Church of God (COG), and is the lead Pastor and cofounder, with her husband, Bishop Raymond Hall, of the Deliverance Temple Worship Center (DTWC), a dynamic church in Dorchester. She is a native of Jamaica. In 1992, Pastor Hall graduated from the COG Ministerial Internship Program and received her Ministerial credential. She has a Master of Arts Degree and a Masters of Divinity Degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston. She earned a Doctor in Ministry Degree in Pastoral Leadership from Pentecostal Theological Seminary in Cleveland Tennessee.
José MassóTransition Advisor
José C. Massó III is the Announcer and Producer of ¡Con Salsa! on WBUR. During his 46 year career in radio, he has been a trusted friend to Latino and Latina residents of Boston. Born and raised in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, Jose came to Boston in 1973, after completing his studies at Antioch College in Ohio, beginning his professional career as a bilingual teacher in the Boston Public Schools. José served as a liaison to the Hispanic community under Governor Michael Dukakis, an advisory board member of Boston Mayor Thomas Menino’s Office of Cultural Affairs and Director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration in Northern New England. José recently retired as the Director of Policy for MassPort.
Marcus McNeilTransition Advisor
Marcus McNeill is a senior at Fenway High School and a Corporate Responsibility and Government Relations Intern at John Hancock. Marcus is an advocate for students and others who don’t always have a seat at the table. In Marcus’ previous role as the Chairperson of the Student Superintendent Executive Cabinet, he served as a direct advisor to the Superintendent and the Chief Financial Officer and provided counsel and guidance on district priorities. Previously, Marcus served as an Advisory Board Member for iCivics after completing his internship there as a youth fellow. Currently, Marcus is also a peer-mentor to 8th grade students as part of the Alumni Leadership Council at Project 351; a statewide nonprofit organization aimed to inspire students to be involved in community service projects.
Cassandra PierreTransition Advisor
Dr. Cassandra Pierre is an Assistant Professor at the Boston University School of Medicine, the Medical Director of Public Health Programs, the Associate Hospital Epidemiologist at Boston Medical Center, as well as Chair of the hospital’s Diversity and Inclusion Council. Under the leadership of Dr. Pierre, the Public Health Programs at BMC provide resources for HIV, HCV and STI prevention and linkage to care and management throughout the hospital. Her research is focused on infection prevention in vulnerable population and her clinical interests include HIV management in special subpopulations including immigrants of color, pregnant women, people engaging in transactional sex work and people experiencing substance use disorder.
Micho SpringTransition Advisor
Micho Spring is Chair of Weber Shandwick’s Global Corporate Practice, President of Weber Shandwick New England, and Board Chair of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. Micho is an experienced executive with a demonstrated history of working in the public relations and communications industry as well as government. She is skilled in crisis communications, public affairs, issues management, corporate communications and reputation management, and business development. Previously, Micho served as Deputy Mayor and Chief of Staff for Mayor Kevin White and CEO of Boston Telecommunications Company. Micho holds an MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Kannan ThiruvengadamTransition Advisor
Kannan Thiruvengadam grew up by his family farm in South India. Now he directs Eastie Farm, an urban farm in East Boston that fosters land stewardship and food security. He is a member of Boston’s Community Preservation Committee which supports affordable housing development and historic preservation, creating open spaces for community use. He serves on the Boston Conservation Commission, ensuring the protection of our natural resources and a thriving economy. He is a member of Massachusetts Sierra Club's Executive Committee. Kannan led Food Justice policy within Mass Renews Alliance, a coalition of environmental, labor, youth, and Environmental Justice organizations working towards a just and sustainable future for Massachusetts. Kannan is also a member of the Ward 1 Democratic Ward Committee and the Mass. Democratic State Committee. Kannan hosts "What's up Eastie?", a radio show about local issues in a larger context, at Zumix, a youth organization in East Boston. Kannan is a Climate Ready Boston/Greenovate Leader. He left a career in technology to work on community and climate. He has studied climate science, permaculture, and community engagement, and is passionate about regenerative and sustainable practices in agriculture and urban design. Kannan lives with his partner Rudi Seitz in historic Belmont Square in East Boston overlooking the harbor and the beautiful Boston skyline.
Mitchell WeissTransition Advisor
Mitchell Weiss is the Richard L. Menschel Professor of Management Practice at the Harvard Business School, where he created and teaches the school's course on Public Entrepreneurship. He is the author of We the Possibility: Harnessing Public Entrepreneurship to Solve Our Most Urgent Problems (2021). Mitch was a 2015 recipient of the Apgar Award for Innovation in Teaching and a Greenhill Award recipient for 2015-2016. He helped build the Young American Leaders Program at Harvard Business School and is an advisor to the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative. Prior to joining HBS in 2014, Mitch was Chief of Staff to Boston’s Mayor Thomas Menino. Mitch helped shape New Urban Mechanics, Boston’s municipal innovation strategy. In April 2013, he guided the Mayor’s Office response to the Marathon Bombings and played a key role in starting One Fund Boston. Mitch has presented on government innovation at 10 Downing Street, the World Bank, and the European Commission. He was recognized by the Boston Business Journal as one of Boston’s “Top 40 under 40” and by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce as one of Boston’s “Ten Outstanding Young Leaders.” Mitch holds an AB with Honors in Economics from Harvard University and a Master in Business Administration from Harvard Business School, where he was a George Baker Scholar.