Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone announced today the addition of two new city employees, Mr. Ed O’Donnell and Ms. Betsy Allen filling the positions of Director of Economic Development and Disability Coordinator, respectively.
Mr. O’Donnell had most recently served as Predevelopment Director and Permitting Specialist at Waypoint Construction Consultants in Needham, and held previous positions the Deputy Director for Commercial and Residential Development for the Boston Redevelopment Authority, where he oversaw a series of major development projects including the Genzyme manufacturing facility, the Millennium Place and Ritz Carlton mixed use project and the expansions of Emerson College and Suffolk University in Boston’s downtown area.
“As the Director of Economic Development, Ed will have a major role in advancing the redevelopment strategies in many of our key districts, including Assembly Square, Union Square, Brickbottom and the Innerbelt,” said Mayor Curtatone. “He is a seasoned pro whose knowledge and experience will help us continue to expand our commercial tax base and create important employment opportunities throughout the city.”
The City also welcomes Betsy Allen, who will serve as the city’s Disability Coordinator. Ms. Allen, a Somerville resident, holds a J.D. in Law from the Suffolk University Law School, and brings with her an impressive background in human rights and disability compliance, including seven years as a Compliance Officer for the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. At MCAD she coordinated public outreach programs and handled discrimination complaints in housing and public accommodation.
Ms. Allen also has experience as a Senior Case Technician for the United States Federal Social Security Administration, where she advised judges regarding applicants who filed for disability under ADA criteria. Additionally, she spent three years teaching history at Sharon High School.
“Ms. Allen comes highly recommended by her previous employers, who describe her as supremely diligent and organized, and also very empathetic and personable,” said Mayor Curtatone. “I am extremely impressed with her track record of dealing with disability compliance from a policy and legal standpoint, as well as her integrity and personal compassion. Her experience as both a schoolteacher and a disability compliance officer demonstrate her dedication to the values of public service. I look forward to working with Ms. Allen as we continue to make Somerville an even more accessible and livable community for all of our residents.”