MassDevelopment Chief To Step Down
Lauren Liss is stepping down as head of MassDevelopment at the end of the year, the agency said Monday, leaving no immediate heir to lead the state-run development financier.
Liss, appointed as MassDevelopment CEO and president in 2017 by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, oversaw management and financing of 341 projects generating roughly $2.7B of investment into the state in FY 2020 alone, the agency said in a press release. The agency didn’t say why Liss is stepping down.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to return to public service to lead MassDevelopment during a period of such tremendous growth,” Liss said in a statement.
MassDevelopment touted Liss’ work in expanding finance and real estate services with the Transformative Development Initiative geared toward Greater Boston cities and the Commonwealth Places program. The agency credits the projects Liss oversaw with supporting more than 10,000 jobs and building or preserving 1,787 housing units.
“Lauren has been an incredible partner and leader as she has put MassDevelopment’s many programs and resources to work creating jobs for our residents, increasing investment in our communities, and spurring economic growth statewide,” Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy said in a statement.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Liss guided MassDevelopment’s programs to support small businesses in TDI districts and oversaw special funding rounds to aid communities in repurposing public spaces and grants to help coworking spaces adhere to new safety guidelines.
Liss was the commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection before Baker appointed her to lead MassDevelopment in 2017, and was a real estate attorney and partner at Boston law firm Rubin and Rodman.
Kennealy will lead the search for the next MassDevelopment head, the agency said.