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Economist with Mass. roots to lead land-use think tank

The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, a Cambridge-based think tank focused on land use, announced Monday the appointment of economist George W. McCarthy as its next president.

McCarthy, 57, is director of metropolitan opportunity at the Ford Foundation.

As the Lincoln Institute’s fifth president, McCarthy will replace Gregory K. Ingram, who is retiring after serving as president since 2005. Beginning July 1, McCarthy will take over the position full time.

The Lincoln Institute is a private foundation that concentrates on global urbanization, urban planning, and tax policy.

McCarthy said in a phone interview that his new role is “a natural extension” of his previous experience. He has almost 30 years of work and research in housing policy and finance markets, with the past 10 years dedicated to work in land use planning, he said.

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“I believe that many social and economic problems have at their roots policy problems made more than 50 years ago,” McCarthy said. Improvement “will really rest in how we’re able to think about land use policy and taxation.”

A son of two Massachusetts public school teachers, McCarthy will be returning
to Massachusetts from Westchester, N.Y., where he lives with his wife.


Jennifer Smith can be reached at jennifer.smith@globe.com.