Advancing Community Change Through Data and Collaboration Speaker Bios

Advancing Community Change Through Data and Collaboration Speaker Bios

Chancellor J. Keith Motley is the eighth chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston. He leads an institution with nearly 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students, a full-time and part-time faculty of more than 1,000, and a $323 million annual budget. Motley oversees a newly launched and highly ambitious strategic planning initiative that reflects the university’s determination to remain true to its origins as a teaching institution while enhancing its standing in research, preparing its students to succeed in a transnational world, graduating significantly greater numbers to meet increasing demand for a well-educated workforce, and similarly growing as a source of knowledge and public service. In support of this strategic initiative, Motley is also guiding a 25-year master plan for the physical plant of the university. He has also overseen considerable growth in UMass Boston’s faculty research spending, which has increased to more than $56 million in 2009-2010, and an expansion of the university’s private development funding, which has increased by nearly 200 percent under his leadership.

Motley is a founder of the Roxbury Preparatory Charter School and chair emeritus of the school’s Board of Trustees. He is also the founder and education chair of Concerned Black Men of Massachusetts, Inc., and the Paul Robeson Institute for Positive Self-Development, an academic and social enrichment program for school-aged children of color. He also serves on numerous boards of community organizations with local, regional, and national reach.

Paul S. Grogan is president and CEO of the Boston Foundation. Under Grogan’s leadership the foundation has become a highly influential civic convener, has boosted fundraising, launched high-impact initiatives in key areas like education, health and wellness and youth violence prevention, and merged with The Philanthropic Initiative, a philanthropic advisory service. Grogan joined the Boston Foundation from Harvard University, where he served as Vice President for Government, Community and Public Affairs and spearheaded unprecedented University commitments to the community.  While at Harvard, Mr. Grogan also created a national organization, “CEOs for Cities,” a global learning community dedicated to making cities successful.  Serving Mayors Kevin H. White and Raymond L. Flynn, he headed Boston’s neighborhood revitalization efforts in the early 1980s, pioneering a series of public/private ventures, including the Boston Housing Partnership and the Boston Compact, which have been widely emulated by other cities. 

Charlotte Khan co-founded the Boston Indicators Project at the Boston Foundation in 1997. She has been its director since 2000. Coordinated in partnership with the City of Boston and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, the Project’s goals are to: democratize access to data and information; foster informed public discourse; and track progress on shared civic goals. Previously at the foundation, she coordinated Boston’s participation in the Rockefeller Foundation-sponsored Persistent Poverty Project, a six-city poverty alleviation initiative. Khan is a long-time member of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership, and currently serves as President of the Community Indicators Consortium, and was a member of the Editorial Board of State of the USA (SUSA).She is also a co-founder of the Open Indictors Consortium (OIC), coordinated at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, through which teams in twelve U.S. regions are collaborating to develop and deploy a high-performance open source data analysis and visualization platform, Weave.

Jessica Martin has been a member of the Boston Indicators Project at the Boston Foundation since 2006, most recently as the Director of Research, where her primary focus is data collection and analysis to support the project’s goals of democratizing data, tracking progress on shared civic goals and producing biennial reports on the state of Boston, its neighborhoods and the region. Martin has also contributed to occasional special reports of the Project, focused on topics such as education and poverty.  In her role at the Foundation, she contributes to the data-driven, on-going impact assessment of the Boston Foundation’s core strategies and investments.   Prior to joining the Foundation, Jessica was an analyst in the private sector.  She is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Thought and Political Economics and Women’s Studies, and the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She resides in the Boston neighborhood of Jamaica Plain.

Nse Esema, Digital Media & Research Associate at the Boston Indicators Project, recently joined the Boston Foundation after receiving a Masters in City Planning  from MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning. There, much of her coursework was focused on data analysis and mapping. Previously and while at MIT, Nse completed a range of mapping projects and facilitated community stakeholder participation in urban planning initiatives both domestically and internationally. Local projects included an analysis of the nexus of crime incidence and mortgage foreclosures in the Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood of Dorchester and an analysis of the impact of Metro Boston’s land use and transportation patterns on regional sustainability. Nse was born in Nigeria and has lived in the US since age seven. She completed her undergraduate education at the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in Urban Studies. 

Mark Warren is a sociologist concerned with the revitalization of American democratic and community life. He studies efforts to strengthen institutions that anchor low-income communities— schools, congregations and other community-based organizations—and to build broad-based alliances among these institutions and across race and social class. Mark teaches courses on community organizing, education reform, and qualitative research methods. Before coming to the University of Massachusetts Boston, he was an associate professor of education at Harvard University and an associate professor of sociology at Fordham University, where he founded and directed the college’s service learning program. He is on the national and Boston organizing team of the Urban Research-Based Action Network. Warren is also an active member of the community at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research at Harvard University.

Donna Haig Friedman, 2006-2007 Fulbright Scholar, is the Director of the Center for Social Policy and is Associate Research Professor at the J. W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies.  She holds a PhD from Brandeis University, Heller School of Social Policy and Management.  Since 1998, Dr. Friedman has led the Center for Social Policy’s team in its research and evaluation work in Massachusetts and in the United States, much of it focused on social welfare policies, homelessness and its prevention, evaluating comprehensive community change initiatives, and government, third sector and philanthropy roles in advancing social policy innovations. Throughout her career, Friedman has been engaged in the management and delivery of human services, policy analysis of welfare and homelessness social policies, evaluation of government and NGO social policy innovations, and teaching in graduate programs of public policy at  the University of Massachusetts Boston, the Heller School, Smith College and Lesley University.  Currently, she leads the UMass Boston team in its evaluation of the City of Boston’s Thrive in 5 Initiative and The Boston Foundation’s Fairmount Initiatives.