Brian Golden, the Director of the Boston Planning and Development Agency (formerly known as the Boston Redevelopment Agency), has led a life that is committed to public service. He grew up in Allston, and like many of the other Ward Fellowship sponsors, he attended Boston Latin School (Class of 1983) and went on to Harvard, where he studied Government. He also holds a law degree from the College of William and Mary, and a Master’s Degree from the U.S. Army War College.
His path in public service is unique. After being inspired by his great-uncle Joseph Golden, he joined the Army as a lawyer in 1993, and has served since then as both an active and reserve officer, and his experience includes deployments in Bosnia and Iraq. He was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1999, representing Allston-Brighton and some parts of Brookline for four terms. He returned to Massachusetts in 2005 after a deployment to Iraq, and served as the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy until 2007. Then, he joined the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as the New England Regional Director, where he served for two years.
In 2009, he joined the Boston Redevelopment Agency as an executive director, and in 2014, he was appointed as the Acting Director for one year before being appointed the permanent Director. In 2016, under Director Golden’s leadership, the City of Boston renamed the agency to its current naming, the Boston Planning and Development Agency. At the time, Director Golden remarked that the rebranding effort sought to emphasize the reforms and changes being made in the operations of the agency, which was formerly viewed negatively by many neighborhoods, citizens, and community organizations.
Today, Director Golden is still pushing for multi-pronged reform at the Agency. Recent BPDA projects include a Smart Utilities Policy for more resilient infrastructure, the approval of new housing units, as well as an increase in linkage fees paid by developers to bring benefits to city residents. These new initiatives will positively shape the future of the City of Boston.