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Lauren Jones and Shaun Blugh tapped for top economic development posts; Danielson Tavares elevated to chief diversity officer

March 2, 2016

Economic Development

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Economic Development

Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced today the appointments of Shaun Blugh as Director of Growth Strategies and Lauren Jones as Director of Business Strategy under the Economic Development Cabinet. In addition, Mayor Walsh has elevated Danielson Tavares to Chief Diversity Officer from Deputy Chief of Operations. 

"These are exciting changes in the Walsh administration that further our commitment to the business community in Boston, and support diversity in City Hall and workplaces across the city," said Mayor Walsh. "It became clear as we worked with General Electric to move their headquarters to the Seaport that we can do an even better job at promoting Boston as open for business and I'm confident that Shaun and Lauren are the right team to get the job done." 

Shaun's responsibilities as Director of Growth Strategies will include creating and executing a comprehensive strategy to attract new businesses in emerging industries across Boston's diverse neighborhoods and pursuing new business leads, among others. Shaun joined Mayor Walsh's administration in December 2015 as the city's first Chief Diversity Officer. In this position, he released the first-ever Workforce Profile Report to transparently examine the racial and gender makeup of Boston's municipal employee base and led the Diversity and Inclusion Team in their work to diversify city leadership, staff and members of boards and commissions. Shaun also worked on developing a diversity dashboard that builds on the information made available in the Workforce Profile Report. 

Prior to joining the city, Shaun worked for the IMB Development Corporation. At IMB, Shaun performed research on various industry sectors across the country in his role as Director of Due Diligence.

As Director of Business Strategy, Lauren will be focused on retaining existing businesses, engaging the Boston business community and working in partnership with the Director of Growth Strategies to strengthen Boston for growth as a place to do business in the national and international markets. Lauren started with the Economic Development Cabinet as Deputy Director of Business Strategy and served as an important member of the team that worked with General Electric. 

Over the past two years, Lauren has led key initiatives for the Walsh Administration including the Mayor's Summer Jobs Program, the development of the Mayor's Mentoring Movement to recruit 1,000 mentors for Boston's youth, the successful passage of banning smokeless tobacco in Boston parks, and she continues to provide a lead role in the execution of President Obama's 'My Brother's Keeper' (MBK) Initiative in Boston.

Before joining the City of Boston in January 2014, Lauren worked in state government for over six years including in business and workforce development roles.

Leading the Mayor's Diversity Office, Danielson will work to implement the city's diversity goals and objectives, including hiring, leadership and career development, and partner with community, academic and business organization to assist in the development of hiring process that ensure opportunities and advancement for candidates from underrepresented demographic groups. Danielson has worked for the Walsh Administration for two years, as a Special Assistant to the Mayor and, most recently, as Deputy Chief of Operations. Danielson also worked for the Massachusetts Legislature for two years before coming to City Hall.  

After immigrating from the Cape Verde Islands as a child, Danielson was raised in Boston and started his education in the Boston Public School system, earned a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and completed the "The Partnership," a year-long professional development seminar. In addition, Danielson is pursuing a masters in city planning at Boston University. Danielson currently sits on the My Brother's Keeper Boston Advisory Committee and the Board of Trustees for Nativity Preparatory School, a tuition-free, Jesuit middle school serving boys of all faiths from low-income families residing in Boston.

"I am proud to have worked closely with Danielson over the past two years and he was the clear choice to serve as the city's Chief Diversity Officer," said Mayor Walsh. "Danielson brings a unique skill set to the table and his proven work in the community will serve as a positive asset as he starts his work."