UEP Welcomes 11 to the mid-career MPP Program

In Fall 2020, we welcome 11 mid-career professionals into UEP’s Master of Public Policy (MPP) program. These seasoned practitioners have at least seven years of relevant experience turning vision into practice and have a lot to share with the Tufts UEP community. The MPPers come to UEP to enhance their professional practice, pursue a career shift, or simply further their learning. In this cohort are five Neighborhood Fellows, who are urban leaders of color receiving full-tuition scholarships. In this most unusual year, we invite you to virtually meet the MPP cohort (*Neighborhood Fellow).

Charley Blandy is a classical singer and voice teacher from Arlington MA and has been a member of Tufts applied music faculty since 2005. He has degrees from Oberlin College and Indiana University. Since 2004 he has been the co-editor of Blue Mass. Group, the leading progressive political blog in Massachusetts, writing about issues such as transit, environment, policing reform, and a special focus on climate change. He is a new member of Arlington Town Meeting, where he intends to work on inclusive housing and sustainability. He is interested in state-level energy and climate policy.

Emma Blaxter has had a varied and diverse professional trajectory. Currently she is the Events Manager at the Huntington Theatre Company, Boston’s largest theatre, and previously worked in placemaking and arts-based changemaking at community-based Hyde Square Task Force. She was also the associate producer on the documentary Defying the Nazis, produced by Ken Burns and currently streaming on Netflix. She lives with her wife in Somerville, MA, where she sits on the Somerville Pedestrian and Transit Advisory Committee, working to improve transit and walking accessibility for all. She loves to walk and bike in her neighborhood and has driven cross country four times, once on a six-week camping road trip. 

Rachel Brunner is a graduate of the University of Missouri. She has served as a community organizer supporting urban agriculture efforts, regional food system development, and the growth of local programs and businesses in Kentucky, New York, Nashville, and Pittsburgh. Rachel moved back to Louisville in 2017, where she organized Louisville’s Food Policy Council, conducted a feasibility study around local food aggregation and the needs of small-sized farmers, and served as Assistant Director of Common Earth Gardens. She uses a trauma-informed approach and believes that all people are creative, resourceful, and whole. Rachel is interested in learning how to create positive and sustainable change where people are at the center of conversations around community needs, development projects, and the policies affecting them.

Rev. Adam Lawrence Dyer is the Lead Minister at First Parish in Cambridge Unitarian Universalist, Cambridge, MA and the Unitarian Universalist Chaplain at Harvard University. He is the author of Love Beyond God, a collection of poetry and reflections focused on black identity and liberal religion and has been featured in UU World Magazine. Previously, Rev. Dyer worked with PolicyLink and the California Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, the PICO Networks and the UU Justice Ministry of California advocating for LGBTQ, gender, racial, economic, religious and health equity. He is a graduate of Princeton University and the Pacific School of Religion where he received his M.Div., the Certificate in Sexuality and Religion and the Paul Wesley Yinger Preaching Award.

Hajar Logan* has more than two decades of experience as a chief officer and operations executive in several social enterprises, businesses and nonprofit organizations and as a business and organizational development consultant. In 2017, Ms. Logan became a community organizer at New England United for Justice, where she focused on real estate development and civic design that is transforming neighborhoods and displacing families. In 2019, Ms. Logan became the Climate and Transit-Oriented Development Director at Alternatives for Community and Environment, where she organized the local community to build programs that demand just impacts from neighborhood redesign and transit-oriented development.

Kimberly R. Lyle* is the Director of Strategy and Development at Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation. Kimberly previously worked in financial services, tech, and higher education. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Rutgers University, and she completed graduate coursework in social anthropology at Harvard University. A proud native of the Roxbury neighborhood in Boston, Kimberly has previously served on the board of the Roxbury Neighborhood Council. She serves on the boards of Cooperative Fund New England (CFNE) and the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC). Her policy interests are at the intersections of race, social policy, housing, economic development. Kimberly is particularly interested in understanding policy opportunities for reparations to redress the harms done to African Americans by the United States.

Fidel Maltez* is the Commissioner of Public Works for the City of Chelsea. Fidel has been with the City of Chelsea since 2017 and oversees all municipal construction as well as all public works related areas for Chelsea. Prior to Chelsea, Fidel spent 13 years with Cintas Corporation, 3 of which were spent in China as the Regional Engineering Manager. Fidel holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree from Lafayette College. Fidel is originally from Managua, Nicaragua. Fidel is married to Maria Belen Power, an MPP graduate and has two daughters, Maya (7) and Ana Victoria.

Eric Noreen is the Communications Director for the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. He previously worked at a political media consulting firm in Philadelphia and also has experience in leadership consulting and finance. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Bentley University. He is passionate about volunteering and community engagement having been a volunteer at New York Cares (2016 Presidential Service Award Winner), SERVE Philadelphia, Boston Cares, and the Springfield Rescue Mission. Eric runs an Instagram account “Climate Clippy” which is focused on increasing awareness around climate change. Eric is interested in environmental and economic policy. Eric is an avid improv comedy fan having been educated and performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York and now the Improv Asylum in Boston.

Paola Pelletier-Ozuna* serves as the Cambridge Program Director at Enroot, where she supports and empowers 120 immigrant high school youth. Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Paola moved to the United States over a decade ago. She earned a degree in 2013 from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations and Latin American Studies. Upon graduation, Paola became a labor union organizer with UNITE HERE Local 26. Additionally, she worked as a paralegal at the Civil Rights Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. Paola gained experience in project management and fundraising in the nonprofit sector at Be The Change, Inc. and Artists For Humanity. Paola is interested in using policy to improve the lives of BIPOC and disenfranchised communities through the study of economic development, housing policy, and urban planning.

Lueteshia Raymond* has over a decade of experience in public housing administration with the Boston Housing Authority. In her current role as Special Assistant, Lueteshia works to implement strategic initiatives and systematic tools to strengthen resident engagement and create opportunities for greater self-sufficiency. Lueteshia is a lifelong Boston resident and her interest lies in understanding the disparities in Boston communities and creating opportunities to enhance the quality of life and economic mobility of underserved families. Outside of work, Lueteshia is an avid traveler and enjoys experiencing diverse cultures. Lueteshia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Suffolk University and a Juris Doctor from New England School of Law. Lueteshia is licensed to practice law in Massachusetts.

Alicin Reidy Williamson is the first Senior Vice President, Chief Inclusion Officer at Endeavor, a global entertainment, fashion and sports company. Alicin previously served as Managing Principal and Head of the New York Office for The Raben Group, a political and communication strategy firm, and Senior VP at MTV Networks and Viacom. She has also worked at The Fund for the City of New York and Children’s Defense Fund. Alicin served as an adjunct professor at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service for six years teaching corporate responsibility and strategic partnerships. She has been recognized for her leadership by the City of New York, the YWCA Academy of Women Leaders, the National Action Network, and received a “Woman of Influence” award from Essence Magazine. She graduated from Tufts University with a degree in International Relations.

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