Alumni Spotlight: Dan Lesser

Alumni Spotlight is a series highlighting former affiliates of the Initiative on Cities (IOC).  We catch up with our alumni to feature their current work, updates, and accomplishments. Today, we highlight Dan Lesser, a former IOC Fellow with the Initiative on Cities.

Dan is currently the Director of Operations for the Mayor’s Office of Housing. He oversees all the day-to-day management activities of the department. He is passionate about ensuring Boston works for all its residents, especially on housing, climate change, transportation, and economic opportunity.

Dan manages efforts to improve Boston’s neighborhoods through several initiatives and approaches for the Mayor’s Office of Housing. Some of the current initiatives undertaken by the Office of Housing include:

  • Developing affordable and market-rate housing
  • Advocating for low and moderate-income Bostonians
  • Reimagining the City’s surplus real estate portfolio
  • Fostering community development
  • Partnering with various stakeholders to end homelessness
  • Assisting Bostonians wishing to become or remain homeowners

Before his current role, Dan worked in the City of Boston as the Director of Strategic Initiatives in the Transportation and Public Works Department and as the Program Director in the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics. He was also a community organizer, campaigning, and nonprofit director in New Bedford and Lynn, Massachusetts. His focus during his time in both places before coming to Boston ranges from minimum wage increases to immigration reform.

Dan received his MBA from the Questrom School of Business at Boston University, concentrating on public and nonprofit management in 2017. He earned his BA in Political Science from Oberlin College.