Katharine Lusk

Katharine is the Co-Director and Founding Executive Director of the Initiative on Cities, where she spearheads university-wide programs and research, including the Menino Survey of Mayors, experiential learning for students and multi-stakeholder conferences, and supports a number of federally funded research projects devoted to smart cities and the urban environment. She is a champion for urban research and education across Boston University, serving on the advisory boards of the BU URBAN interdisciplinary doctoral program, the City Planning & Urban Affairs program, the Institute for Sustainable EnergyBU Spark!, the Data Science for Good (DS4G) Initiative and the Urban Climate Initiative. She also serves on the advisory board of the Boston Area Research Initiative, a consortium of universities advancing research impact in Greater Boston.

Katharine served as a Policy Advisor to the late Boston Mayor Tom Menino, where she led his work to make Boston the first city in the country to achieve pay equity for women. She created the Boston Women’s Workforce Council, a unique collaborative governance partnership, and served on the Council as an appointee of Mayor Marty Walsh. An enthusiastic civic entrepreneur, Katharine also launched a capital fund for child care providers, a platform for women small business owners, and the nation’s first mobile City Hall. Prior to entering public service, Katharine worked as a brand strategist and researcher for Fortune 500 companies for ten years.

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 state-run paid family leave for Massachusetts. She earned her BA from Williams College.