Edward J. Collins, Jr. Biography
Throughout his long and outstanding public career, Edward J. Collins, Jr. epitomized the spirit and goals of the Center for Public Management that now bears his name. A Boston native, Collins was a graduate of Boston College and Boston College Law School.
Collins began his career in public service in 1978 at the Massachusetts Department of Revenue as the Deputy Commissioner in charge of the newly-created Division of Local Services (DLS), where he helped local officials understand the complexities of Proposition 2½ and created cutting edge computer technology to help cities and towns set and collect property taxes. In 1987, Collins received the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation Award for Outstanding Service to the Commonwealth. The Foundation cited his transformation of DLS from an agency that simply processed numbers to one that functioned as a source of valuable information, advice and assistance to local governments. Collins also served in a variety of elected and appointed roles in his adopted hometown of Saugus, culminating in his appointment as Town Manager in 1991.
Collins left his position in Saugus in 1996 to become the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of the City of Boston, where he oversaw a $1.8 billion operating budget and brought fiscal discipline to the City during a period of difficult financial pressure. Collins officially retired in 2002, but he continued to serve as a special advisor to Mayor Thomas F. Menino until 2005. Perhaps most importantly, Collins was an important mentor to hundreds of past and present municipal and state officials.
Collins passed away in January 2007 after a lengthy illness. In July 2008, a new Center for Public Management was established here at UMass Boston by the Governor and the Legislature and was named in his honor.