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Katharine Lusk

Executive Director, Planning Advisory Council

Katharine Lusk serves as the Executive Director of the Planning Advisory Council. The Council is a new internal coordinating body composed of the members of Mayor Wu’s Cabinet focused on Boston’s built environment. It guides a shared vision for a green, growing, family-friendly Boston and coordinates investments to realize that vision. 

Lusk brings more than 20 years of experience in the public, private and higher education fields, where she has a track record of breaking down silos and connecting people. She previously served as Co-Director and Founding Executive Director of the Boston University Initiative on Cities, an interdisciplinary urban research and policy center founded by late Boston Mayor Tom Menino. While there, Lusk worked with leading environmental, social and data scientists, public health experts, urban designers and community partners to advance more sustainable, just and inclusive urban transformation locally, nationally and globally. She also launched a decade-long survey of American mayors, the Menino Survey.  Lusk has worked on wide-ranging urban issues, including how cities are mitigating and adapting to climate risks, reclaiming the public realm for people, promoting active transit, addressing housing affordability, tackling systemic inequities, and engaging community — including youth — in decision-making.

She previously served as an advisor to Mayor Menino, where she led his work to make Boston the best city in the country for working women. She created the Boston Women’s Workforce Council, a unique collaborative governance partnership focused on closing the gender wage gap, and later served on the Council as a mayoral appointee. She spent the first decade of her career in the private sector, working as a brand strategist and researcher to Fortune 500 companies. 

Katharine and her family live in — and love — Roslindale. She’s always ready to advise on the best sledding hills, walking trails, and climbing rocks.

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