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New Intergovernmental Relations Staff announced

IGR collaborates with local, state, and federal partners to advance the Mayor’s agenda.

Mayor Michelle Wu announced today three new staffers for her Intergovernmental Relations (IGR) office. Clare Kelly will serve as Director of Intergovernmental Relations, Ellen Quinn as Director of State Relations and Diego Huezo as Deputy Director of State Relations.

“Now more than ever, we need strong partnerships across every level of government and across communities to tackle our biggest challenges,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “I’m thrilled to be welcoming these three dedicated and passionate leaders to City Hall so that we will move quickly and in close collaboration with our partners at the Boston City Council, on Beacon Hill, in DC, and across the Commonwealth.”

The IGR office advances the Mayor’s vision for the City by coordinating legislative priorities on the City, state and federal levels while building and maintaining strong relationships with elected officials, advocacy organizations and community stakeholders. The office tracks local, state and federal legislation and arranges for testimony by the Mayor and City leadership at legislative hearings. IGR coordinates the City’s participation in national, state and municipal organizations and further coordinates with all City departments on policy and budget issues. They also serve as a liaison between the Mayor and the Boston City Council, the Massachusetts Legislature and the federal government.

Clare Kelly officially begins as Director of IGR today. She recently served as Executive Director of the Environmental League of MA (ELM) Action Fund, where she built political power to meet the scale and urgency of our environmental challenges. 

Before joining the ELM Action Fund, Kelly worked for a consulting company, focusing on climate issues and supporting progressive causes and candidates. She also previously served as Executive Director of the Massachusetts State Democratic Party from 2010 - 2013.  Before becoming Executive Director, Kelly served as the Political Director for Governor Deval Patrick’s Political Action Committee and as the Field Director on his re-election campaign. 

“I am thrilled and honored to be joining Mayor Michelle Wu's administration leading the Intergovernmental Relations Department,” said Clare Kelly. “As an environmental advocate, I'menergized about the opportunity to be a part of building a more resilient, healthy and equitable Boston. I look forward to collaborating with all levels of government to support Mayor Wu's ambitious agenda.”

Kelly has been involved in numerous local and state campaigns. She currently serves on the board of Reproductive Equity Now. She lives in Jamaica Plain with her husband and son.

Kelly is assuming the Director of IGR position previously held by Kaitlin Passafaro, who recently left the City to join Berklee College of Music as Vice President of Community and Government Relations. Passafaro served in various roles within IGR starting in 2012. 

“IGR holds a critical role in executing the Mayor’s ambitious agenda to create an equitable, healthy, safe, and resilient city for all Bostonians,” said Kaitlin Passafaro. “Clare, Ellen and Diego will ensure that Boston’s interests are represented at all levels of government. Having spent years doing this work, I am thrilled that Mayor Wu has appointed such qualified and experienced individuals. The residents of the City stand to benefit greatly from their work.”

Ellen Quinn joins the Wu administration as Director of State Relations after nearly a decade working on Beacon Hill. She most recently served as the Director of Operations in the Office of the House Speaker. In that role, she built relationships and regularly engaged with the 160 members of the House of Representatives in order to facilitate collaboration on legislation, public events and the operations of the House. She also assisted the communications team, often writing the Speaker’s remarks for public events. Prior to this position, she served as the Special Events Coordinator in the House Speaker’s Office, where she directed the execution of many events, including public ceremonies and memorials, conferences and speaking engagements. 

“Since she was a City Councilor, I have admired Mayor Wu and her ability to relate to the challenges that face her constituents every day – from delays on the T, to obtaining child care, to the cost of housing,” said Ellen Quinn. “I am thrilled to bring the knowledge and skills that I’ve developed from my tenure at the State House to City Hall and assist Mayor Wu improve the lives of all Boston residents.”

Quinn holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, both from Northeastern University. She lives in Roslindale with her husband and young son. 

Diego Huezo joined Boston Mayor Michelle Wu’s Intergovernmental Relations Department as the Deputy Director of State Relations on January 3. He recently spent the last five years at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s (MAPC) Government Affairs Department. At MAPC, Huezo helped advance the Agency’s state budget and legislative priorities and worked with several municipal and organizational coalitions to advocate for state level legislation. He has worked extensively with elected officials and their staff at the municipal, state and federal levels, as well as with state agency stakeholders, regional partners, and community advocacy organizations. He has also worked for U.S. Senator Ed Markey and former Governor Deval Patrick. He is a board member of the Commonwealth Seminar and Common Cause’s Massachusetts Chapter. Huezo is a lifelong resident of Boston and lives in Hyde Park with his wife, daughter, and dog.

"I am incredibly humbled and excited to join Mayor Wu's Administration,” said Diego Huezo. “My parents immigrated to Boston from El Salvador and chose to raise their family in this city. Growing up they instilled in my family and me a sense of public service and social justice. I am honored to be part of a team, led by the Mayor, seeking to push for policy changes to improve the lives of Boston's residents. I look forward to helping advance the Mayor's state legislative agenda and to working with colleagues at City Hall, the Legislature, Executive Administration, and other regional partners.”

Kelly, Quinn and Huezo join Neil Doherty, Chief of Staff for the department, and Chantal Lima Barbosa, City Council Liaison, who currently serve in the Office of Intergovernmental Relations.

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