James Arthur Jemison, Chief of Planning
Chief of Planning for the City of Boston James Arthur Jemison also serves as the Director of the BPDA. He oversees the agency’s core missions of community-engaged planning, regulation of major real estate development, management of the BPDA’s real estate property (over 20 million square feet), and workforce training programs.
Jemison is a creative public-private development leader with over 28 years of planning and affordable housing expertise, working with community members to create equitable places in Detroit, Washington D.C., and Boston. Prior to joining the City of Boston, Jemison served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Jemison joined HUD from the City of Detroit, where he was Group Executive for Planning, Housing & Development, leading the City’s efforts toward equitable growth, working in partnership with Directors of the Housing & Revitalization Department, the Planning & Development Department, the Detroit Land Bank Authority, Detroit Housing Commission, and the Bridging Neighborhoods program.
Before going to Detroit, Jemison served as Deputy Undersecretary and Deputy Director for the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts under Governor Deval Patrick. Prior to that, he held a variety of public and private-sector positions, all related to city planning and urban development, primarily in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. This includes service at the Massachusetts Port Authority, Boston Housing Authority, the then-Boston Redevelopment Authority, and in private development work at GLC Development Resources.
Jemison has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Master of City Planning degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was a Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellow. Jemison is also a 2021 Spirit of Detroit Award winner, a 2016 Michigan Chronicle Men / Women of Excellence awardee, and a member of the team recognized with the 2013 Robert Larson Public Policy Award for Workforce Housing from the Urban Land Institute, on behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Teresa Polhemus, Executive Director/Secretary
Teresa Polhemus is the Executive Director/Secretary of the BPDA. In this capacity she plans, organizes, manages and controls the activities of the Secretary’s Office in support of the economic growth and development of the City of Boston. Before joining the BPDA, Teresa worked for Fidelity Investments for 10 years in their Strategic Advisers, Inc. division. Prior to joining Fidelity, Teresa worked for Senator John Kerry on both his 1996 re-election campaign and the 2004 Presidential Campaign. Teresa began her career in the New Jersey Governor's office. She has also worked at the MA Attorney General's Office.
Devin Quirk, Deputy Chief for Development and Transformation
Devin Quirk serves as Deputy Chief of the BPDA where he is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the Agency and implementing Mayor Wu’s and Chief Jemison’s vision for the transformation of the BPDA. Devin has worked for the City of Boston since 2010. Most recently, Devin served as Director of Real Estate for the BPDA where he restructured the Agency's approach to public real estate with a focus on fiscal responsibility, community development, and a commitment to using public land to advance public good. Devin has also previously served as Director of Operations for Boston's Department of Neighborhood Development (DND), now known as the Mayor's Office of Housing where he oversaw day-to-day management of the 150 person staff and the implementation of the City's affordable housing strategies.
Diana Fernandez Bibeau, Deputy Chief of Urban Design
As Deputy Chief of Urban Design, Diana Fernandez Bibeau will elevate the importance of urban design, and champion the transformative power of sustainable and walkable communities for all ages and abilities. In partnership with Chief Jemison and the BPDA’s Urban Design Department, Fernandez will work to strategically transform existing BPDA urban design processes to promote predictability and quality for both the community members and the development industry. With over a decade of private practice experience, Diana has built a design portfolio that reassesses the policies that have perpetuated race, gender, environmental and socioeconomic inequality, and created design methodologies that can respond to and correct them. As part of her work, Fernandez will partner on the Mayor's Green New Deal agenda with the City departments, including the Boston Transportation Department, the Environment Department, Parks, Office of Housing, Public Works, Public Facilities, Boston Public Schools, and Boston Public Libraries, to align urban design efforts into a comprehensive vision for Boston.
Lacey Rose, Chief Communications Officer
Lacey most recently served as Director of Strategic Communications at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Lacey was Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Press Secretary from 2013-2018 and Communications Director for now-Governor Ned Lamont's campaign and transition in Connecticut. Since the 2018 cycle, Lacey has served as a communications consultant at 617MediaGroup to social justice organizations and labor unions, and worked for Boston tech company Clear Ballot, which creates modern, transparent election technology. Lacey also served in the Obama Administration at the Treasury Department, worked on President Obama’s re-election campaign in Florida, and served as Deputy Director of Constituency Press for the Presidential Inaugural Committee. Lacey graduated from the Winsor School in Boston in 2006 and Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut in 2010.
Aimee Chambers, Director of Planning
As Director of Planning, Aimee Chambers will be responsible for implementing the Mayor’s vision for citywide land use planning strategies and action plans that shape equitable long-term growth. This vision includes a Citywide plan to rezone and enhance squares and corridors, creating the opportunity for thousands of new housing units, and neighborhood small businesses, retail, and jobs. It also includes completing neighborhood plans, bringing them to zoning, and building out the zoning team to evaluate and modernize the zoning code. Another goal of Chambers's planning work is to make the development process more predictable for community members and developers. Chambers has worked across the non-profit and public sectors for 12 years as a planner and project manager, and, prior to that, as a foster care case manager. Chambers is a 2019 Next City Vanguard (Newark, NJ) and was nominated in CT Magazine’s 40 Under 40, Class of 2022. She graduated from Manhattan College with a degree in Sociology and Urban Studies. Her master’s degree in Community Planning is from the University of Maryland-College Park.
Luis R. Frias II, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Luis R. Frias II is the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) where he is charged with the development and oversight of the Agency’s equity and diversity priorities. In this capacity, he works to establish collaborative partnerships with internal and external stakeholders and foster a more diverse, inclusive, equitable, welcoming, and supportive agency. He works to create more opportunities for community empowerment, as well as diversify and grow the talent of underrepresented planners and developers. Prior to joining the BPDA, Luis worked in diversity programs in higher education for a decade. He most recently served as the Program Manager for the Engineering PLUS Alliance at Northeastern University. Luis also served as the Associate Director for Diversity Programs for Northeastern’s College of Engineering, where he focused on both College and University level DEI initiatives.
Michelle Goldberg, Director of Finance
Michelle leads the Finance department which includes accounting, financial services, procurement, grants management, and more. Michelle holds two Master's Degrees from Suffolk University. Michelle has been a public servant since 2011 when she started with the City of Boston's Office of Budget Management. Since then Michelle has championed reforms and tilted policy with data-rich reporting practicing. In her spare time, Michelle is an instructor with Baystate Skating School where she helps children learn to ice skate.
Michael Christopher, Director of Development Review
Michael Christopher serves as the Director of Development Review at the Boston Planning & Development Agency, where he provides direction for review of development proposals from commercial and non-profit entities seeking to renovate and/or construct commercial, industrial, institutional, residential and mixed-use projects in Boston. He also generates and implements the formulation of economic development and planning policies. Michael has been with the Agency since 2013 and has served in several roles, including Intergovernmental Affairs Liaison, where he focused on the BPDA’s priorities on issues under consideration by the City Council, State Legislature, Governor's office, and Executive agencies. He is a graduate of Catholic Memorial High School, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and the Harvard Business School’s General Management Executive Program. Michael lives in Dorchester, where he was born and raised, with his wife Kristin and son Michael Jr.
Rebecca Hansen, Director of Real Estate
Rebecca Hansen is the Director of Real Estate at the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA). She oversees the Agency’s real estate portfolio of over 13 million square feet across Boston with the goal of maximizing public benefit generated from public land. This involves managing properties such as the Charlestown Navy Yard and the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Industrial Park and strategic property dispositions. Prior to her time at the BPDA, Rebecca was a transportation engineer in Boston working on traffic analysis and roadway design projects for the public and private sectors. She has a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, and studied civil engineering as an undergraduate at Northeastern University.
Alvaro Lima, Director of Research
Alvaro Lima is the Director of Research for the Boston Planning & Development Agency. Originally from Brazil, he recently served as Senior Vice President and Director of Research of the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), a non-profit organization founded by Harvard Professor Michael Porter. Prior to the ICIC, Alvaro was the Director of Economic Development at Urban Edge, a Boston-based community development corporation. He has also worked as Chief of the Economic Development Department of the Ministry of Industry and Energy in Mozambique. In his work in Brazil, he was the Coordinator of Regional Development Projects at the Institute for Social and Economic Research – IPARDES. Alvaro holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the New School for Social Research.
Mike O'Shea, Chief Information Officer
Michael O’Shea is the Chief Information Officer of the Boston Planning & Development Agency where his emphasis is on delivering improved business outcomes from the agency’s IT investments. Prior to joining the BPDA, Michael was the Manager of E-Government Operations for the City of Boston. Michael has more than 15 years experience in the IT field and received his BS and High-Tech MBA at Northeastern University.
Prataap Patrose, Senior Advisor to Chief Jemison
Prataap Patrose is the Senior Advisor to Chief Jemison. He advises the Chief and senior BPDA staff on all internal and external issues and projects. Prataap brings a depth of experience and knowledge to his role from his 38 years at the BPDA, serving in various capacities, including 10 years as head of the Urban Design department and 6 years as Senior Advisor on Long Term Planning. At the start of his career, he was the recipient of the Boston Redevelopment Authority's award for excellence in 1986, and more recently he was the recipient of the 2010 Henry L. Shattuck public service award. He received his Master’s degree in Environmental Design from MIT in 1984, after receiving a Bachelor of Architecture from the School of Planning and Architecture in India.
Lisa E. Herrington, General Counsel
Lisa Herrington is the General Counsel of the BPDA, where she is responsible for the BPDA's legal strategy and representing the BPDA in all aspects of its work. Lisa has been with the BPDA's Office of General Counsel since 2018, working primarily on its real estate portfolio. Before joining the agency, Lisa was a lawyer in private practice for more than fifteen years, including practicing in a Boston-based law firm's Finance and Restructuring group and serving as Deputy Counsel at The Community Builders. Lisa graduated from Georgetown University and the Boston University School of Law.