New leadership place at key City of Boston departments
Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced new leadership at several key City of Boston departments, including the Mayor's Offices of Women's Advancement, Intergovernmental Relations, Neighborhood Services, and the Inspectional Services Department.
"Each of these individuals are dedicated public servants that have gone above and beyond to serve their city, especially during difficult times like these," said Mayor Walsh. "The work of all City departments is crucial to our overall mission of serving the residents of Boston in the best way we can. I am incredibly proud and excited to welcome Alex, Katilin, Eddie and Jessica into their new roles and look forward to what we can accomplish together."
Mayor Walsh tapped Alexandra Valdez to serve as executive director of the Mayor's Office of Women's Advancement, following Tania Del Rio's transition to the nonprofit sector. The Office of Women's Advancement creates specific programming and opportunities that support economic equity, safety, and empowerment, and representation. Some of the office's most recent work includes: research on paid parental leave and childcare affordability; a multi-pronged approach to closing the gender pay gaps; reducing the demand for commercial sexual exploitation; and creating specific programming for women entrepreneurs.
Valdez is currently serving as director of engagement for the City's Economic Mobility Lab, a team of social entrepreneurs centrally located in the Mayor's Office of Policy that researches and tests ideas with the potential to dramatically increase upward economic mobility for low- and moderate-income Bostonians. Prior to that role, Valdez served as Mayor Walsh's neighborhood liaison for Jamaica Plain and the Latino community in the Office of Neighborhood Services since 2016. She holds a bachelor's degree from Fitchburg State University and is finalizing a master's degree from Suffolk University. She was born in the Dominican Republic and lives in Egleston Square.
Kaitlin Passafaro has been named director of the office of Intergovernmental Relations (IGR), which coordinates interactions between municipal, state and federal governments, assists City departments with advocacy and prospecting for public and private grants, and determines the Mayor's legislative agenda. Passafaro most recently served as director of policy in the Mayor's Office of Economic Development, advancing the goals of reducing barriers relative to conducting business in Boston and promoting the economic upward mobility of all Bostonians.
Passafaro first joined the City of Boston in 2010 serving as a correspondence and advance assistant in the Office of the Mayor before becoming the Mayor's liaison to the Boston City Council. She then became deputy director of State Relations in 2013 and director of State Relations in 2016. A lifelong resident of Dorchester, she is a graduate of Boston Latin School and holds a bachelor's degree from Boston College and a master's degree from Suffolk University.
Current chief of staff for the Civic Engagement Cabinet, Edward M. McGuire III, will assume the role of director of the Office of Neighborhood Services (ONS). McGuire will serve under the leadership of Aisha Miller as the Chief of Civic Engagement and alongside Faisa Shariff as the Deputy Director of ONS. McGuire started working at City Hall in 2014 as a project manager at the then Boston Redevelopment Authority before transitioning to the Civic Engagement Cabinet in 2016. McGuire holds a bachelor's degree from the Catholic University of America. He's a lifelong resident of South Boston.
In addition to McGuire and Shariff, ONS is composed of 18 public servants who serve as liaisons between Mayor Walsh and the City's neighborhoods and communities. The staff attends community meetings, assists residents with city services, shares important information directly with neighborhoods, and helps the City respond to emergencies.
Edward M. McGuire III
Following Aisha Miller's transition from ISD to the Civic Engagement Cabinet, Jessica Thomas, the Mayor's current liaison to Roxbury will assume the role of Assistant Commissioner of Constituent Services at ISD, which aims to improve the quality of life for all residents by protecting the health, safety, and environmental stability of Boston's business and residential communities.
Thomas was born and raised in Boston, attended John D. O'Bryant School of Mathematics and Science in Roxbury, and holds a Construction Management degree from Wentworth Institute of Technology and a Real Estate Paralegal Certificate from the University of Miami. Prior to working for the City of Boston, she worked in consumer banking and real estate for 15 years. Thomas lives in Roxbury.