Katharine Lusk

Katharine Lusk is the Executive Director of the Initiative on Cities at Boston University, a cross-discipline urban leadership and research initiative co-founded in 2014 by former Boston Mayor Tom Menino. In her role, Katharine supports and spearheads new university-wide programs and research, including the Menino Survey of Mayors, student government fellowships, original urban scholarship and multi-stakeholder conferences. She also serves as Senior Personnel to the NSF-funded Smart City Cloud Platform project directed by the Hariri Institute.

Katharine previously served as a mayoral policy advisor with the City of Boston, where she led efforts to make Boston the first city in the country to achieve pay equity for women. In addition to creating the Mayor’s Women’s Workforce Council, she authored, “Boston: Closing the Wage Gap,” identifying evidence-based interventions to close the gap. An enthusiastic civic entrepreneur, Katharine also launched a new capital fund for child care providers, an educational platform for women small business owners, Women on Main, and the nation’s first mobile City Hall, City Hall to Go.

In 2014, she served as an advisor to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s Successful Women, Successful Families Task Force. Prior to entering public service, Katharine worked as a brand strategist and global researcher for Fortune 500 companies. She was most recently the VP/Director of Branding with McCann Erickson, the global advertising agency.

She received a Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where she was the recipient of the Barbara Jordan Award for Women’s Leadership and the Manuel Carballo Award for her graduate thesis modeling a paid family leave program for Massachusetts. She earned her BA from Williams College.