Executive Director, Initiative on Cities, Boston University
Katharine Lusk is the founding Executive Director of the Initiative on Cities at Boston University, which seeks to research, advance and promote the leadership strategies and policies necessary for cities and urban populations to thrive. She spearheads new university-wide programs and research, including the Menino Survey of Mayors, student government fellowships and multi-stakeholder conferences, and serves as Senior Personnel to a number of federally funded research grants devoted to smart cities and urban environments. Katharine formerly 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 City of Boston’s Women’s Workforce Council, a unique collaborative governance partnership, and authored, “Boston: Closing the Wage Gap,” identifying evidence-based interventions employers can take to close the gender wage gap. She now serves on the Council as an appointee of Mayor Marty Walsh.
An enthusiastic civic entrepreneur, Katharine also launched Boston’s capital fund for child care providers, a platform for women small business owners, and the nation’s first mobile City Hall. 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 Researcher for Fortune 500 companies, most recently as the VP/Director of Branding with the global advertising agency McCann Erickson. 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.