Barring any unforeseen complications during contract negotiations, Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera will become president and chief executive officer of MassDevelopment.
MassDevelopment’s board of directors voted unanimously to authorize Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy to extend a contract offer to Rivera. He would replace Lauren A. Liss, who previously said she planned to step down at the end of the year. Rivera said he is excited for the opportunity to “hone my focus on economic development, especially during these trying times.”
Rivera said, “In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, MassDevelopment stands to play a role in reconstruction of our economy that is inclusive, equitable and focuses on neighborhoods and business districts in every corner of the Commonwealth,”
Gov. Charlie Baker said, “Dan Rivera will bring dedicated leadership experience, compassion and a steadfast commitment to economic recovery and growth for Massachusetts’ cities and towns in his new role at MassDevelopment.”
Rivera joins MassDevelopment after serving as mayor of the City of Lawrence for seven years. He also led the city through the Merrimack Valley Columbia Gas Disaster of 2018 and the beginning of the current COVID-19 global pandemic. In addition, Rivera previously served on Northern Essex Community College’s board of trustees. He also served on the Baker Administration’s Reopening Advisory Board, bringing the municipal viewpoint to the group tasked with reopening the economy during COVID-19, and the COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group. In 2017, Baker tapped Rivera to serve on the newly established Latino Advisory Commission charged with addressing the concerns of the Massachusetts Latino community and promoting economic prosperity and well-being.
Rivera, a veteran of the United States Army and resident of Lawrence, holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Master’s in Business Administration from Suffolk University.
MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2020, MassDevelopment financed or managed 341 projects generating investment of more than $2.69 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 10,871 jobs and build or preserve 1,787 housing units.