After 4 years as a board member and 4.5 years as president, I’m leaving the Kendall Square Association. Here’s the letter I shared with the Kendall community:
I’m reaching out to let you know that I will be stepping down as president of the Kendall Square Association at the end of February. This note is to thank you for your support, ideas and collaboration over the past 4.5 years and to let you know that the KSA has never been stronger.
When I joined the KSA, I never could have imagined that I’d be leading it through a global pandemic, nor that our Kendall community would be at the center of the public health response. The importance of the work emerging from Kendall Square’s labs, offices and classrooms has reverberated nationally and worldwide. For me, this also marks a decade of building platforms to advance the innovation ecosystem in Massachusetts, so it’s especially momentous.
I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished together. During my tenure, the Kendall Square Association has transformed into a community-learning and advocacy platform, taking issues of consequence to Kendall leaders and employees and enabling creative ways for people to connect, learn, collaborate and advocate. Some highlights of what we’ve achieved:
- The Future of (how we) Work group of tech and life science leaders has met monthly since April 2020 to design new operating approaches for their companies.
- The Transportation ADVANCE (backed by the Barr Foundation) took the problem of regional traffic congestion and enabled a hyper-local response through data aggregation and best practice sharing.
- Our associated transportation advocacy sustained a critical conversation within the legislative and executive branches of government and further illuminated the work that environmental justice and transportation advocates have been doing for years.
- We championed the Yes on 3 campaign to protect transgender rights and are an active member of the Massachusetts Business Coalition for Early Childhood Education recognizing that these times demand fundamental structural changes to support our people.
- We created a new approach to antiracist training and action planning via Inclusion Drives Innovation and now have graduated more than 300 executives who are prepared to drive cultural change and policy implementation inside their organizations.
- We rallied for the independent restaurant community, working with the corporate community, city government and our congressional delegation to support them during this unprecedented time.
- We built a working group of the Corporate Social Responsibility leaders at our largest employers to engage them in critical conversations about Kendall’s investments in the wider community.
- And we invented new ways of gathering, celebrating and supporting our community via events like the Kendall Square Challenge.
We’ve diversified our excellent board leadership, doubled revenues, and grown from two employees to seven talented individuals who bring public policy, educational and advocacy experience to enable our work. The Kendall Square Association has never been stronger, the Kendall community has never been more vibrant. And we have an incredible array of spaces and places–MIT’s Welcome Center and Museum, the new Rooftop Garden, Cambridge Crossing, CambridgeSide, the Canal District, LabCentral’s expansion, The Foundry–that we’ve opened or begun building that will continue to bring the dream of a dynamic, connected and accessible Kendall Square to life.
I can see Kendall Square from my window at home and will continue to be an active and engaged member of our community via my work with the Boston Biotech Working Group, backing progressive candidates running for elected office, and my board seats at MassRobotics and The Boston Foundation. Like many working parents staring down the second anniversary of this pandemic, I’m ready for a bit of a break. While looking forward to a short sabbatical and time with my daughters, I remain reachable and supportive of your efforts. Thanks to all of you for continuing to light the way as you work to usher in the future of science, technology, culture and creativity.
Sending you all my best wishes,