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.
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 joined the City of Boston in 2010 and from his previous experiences he brings an inclusive community development focus to his work at the BPDA. 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. He has also worked in the City of Boston CFO's office leading the City's performance management and analytics efforts.
Prior to joining the City of Boston, Devin served clients across the Federal Government as a management consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton. He holds a graduate degree in Public Policy and Urban Planning from the Harvard Kennedy School and an undergraduate degree from Harvard College.
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.
Lauren Shurtleff, Director of Planning
Lauren Shurtleff is the Director of Planning at the BPDA, where she manages the Planning Division staff to produce plans, guidelines, and policies appropriate to the planning issues in Boston’s many neighborhoods and Downtown. She guides and mentors staff to work collaboratively with community, business and institutional organizations on public planning processes associated with physical planning in Boston. Additionally, Lauren collaborates with BPDA Development Review staff as well as with City, State and other community agencies and organizations to facilitate the coordination of the public planning and development review processes relating to planning issues.
Lauren has been with the BPDA since 2007 and has worked on a number of planning initiatives and projects, among which include the air rights planning for both the Rose Kennedy Greenway and the Massachusetts Turnpike, the Christian Science Plaza Master Plan, and the 115 Winthrop Square disposition process. She holds a Master of Science in Urbanization and Development from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor of Arts from Boston College. Lauren is a member of both the Urban Land Institute and the American Planning Association.
Heather Campisano, Chief of Staff
Heather Campisano has served as Chief of Staff since 2014. In this position, Heather plays a prominent role in policy development, the project approval process, and strategic and tactical planning efforts within the Agency.
Prior to her appointment as Chief of Staff, Heather served as Deputy Director for Development Review for eight years. As Deputy Director, Heather was responsible for the oversight and management of all real estate development projects in the City of Boston. In addition to managing the day-to-day operations of the Development Review department, Heather assisted the Director and senior staff in developing internal review strategies for development projects based on each proposal’s regulatory and community context and the BPDA’s overall policy objectives. Heather began her tenure at the BPDA as an intern in 1999, and was hired full time as a Project Assistant in 2000.
Barry Reaves, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Barry L. Reaves was appointed as the Boston Planning & Development Agency’s first-ever Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in 2020. In this role, he is charged with development and oversight of the BPDA’s racial equity and diversity priorities and works to establish collaborative partnerships with internal and external stakeholders and foster a more inclusive, equitable, welcoming, supportive, and diverse agency.
Barry is a seasoned Diversity Practitioner with more than 15 years of experience. He has held positions of increasing responsibility in the Diversity Management and Staffing functions within the Federal Government and while serving on Active Duty for 18 years.
Prior to his role at the BPDA, Barry served as Assistant Director of Investigations and Training for the City of Boston, and previously managed the Discrimination Complaints Program for the United States Naval Air Systems Command.
Barry is a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving from 1995 to 2019, deploying overseas. In that capacity, he formulated and provided policy guidance to the military components regarding policies and programs which prescribe, promote, coordinate, and enforce equal opportunity and treatment of active duty and reserve component military personnel.
He is the recipient of several distinguished military awards, including the Meritorious Service Medals, Commendation Medals and Achievement Medals.
Barry is a graduate of the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute which is the premiere DoD school in equal opportunity and equal employment opportunity training, education, and research.
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. In this role 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, while also generating and implementing the formulation of economic development and planning policies for the Agency and the City of Boston.
Michael has been with the Agency since 2013 and has served in several roles. He came into the Agency as Intergovernmental Affairs Liaison focusing on the BPDA’s priorities on issues under consideration by the City Council, State Legislature, Governor's office, and Executive agencies, seeking to foster constructive links between the BPDA and these entities. Michael also worked closely with the Mayor’s Office of Intergovernmental Relations to coordinate efforts across all city departments and divisions as they related to matters concerning the BPDA.
Prior to his role at the BPDA, Michael was the Manager of Public Policy and Public Affairs for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. In this role he managed and advocated for the state’s public safety agenda with members of the Massachusetts State Legislature as well as Executive branch agencies on behalf of 13 public safety agencies and staff.
Michael started his career in the Massachusetts State Legislature as a Legislative Aide to a State Representative. In this role he researched and filed legislation related to substance abuse, public safety and quality of life issues in Massachusetts. His most important role was responding to local neighborhood constituent inquiries and advocating on the behalf of the constituents to various state and city agencies for assistance.
He is a graduate of Catholic Memorial High School, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and the Harvard Business School General Management Executive Program. Michael lives in Dorchester, where he was born and raised, with his wife Kristin and son Michael Jr.
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.
Trinh Nguyen, Director of OWD and OFE
Trinh Nguyen is the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development (OWD) and the Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE), affiliated divisions of the BPDA. Prior to her role at OWD, Trinh was the Chief of Staff at the Boston Housing Authority.
Trinh has nearly 20 years of experience in community and housing development, workforce training and resource management. She has worked for the Urban League of Massachusetts, the Boston Women’s Fund, the Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians, and University of Massachusetts Boston. She is currently a Trustee of the Neighborhood Jobs Trust and a board member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Workforce Development Council.
Trinh holds dual graduate degrees and an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. In addition, Trinh was selected as a community fellow at MIT's Department of Urban Planning in 2004-2006.