Six Boston 2024 employees make over $100,000 a year
Patrick to earn $7,500 per day during travels
Former governor Deval Patrick will earn $7,500 a day for occasional travel as a global ambassador for Boston’s Olympic bid, selling the city and its vision for the Games to the International Olympic Committee, according to salary data released Monday by local Olympic planners, who say they do not know how often Patrick would be on the job.
The local Olympic bid committee, Boston 2024, which is funded by private donations, is also paying $1,390,500 in annual staff salary, with six of 10 salaried employees making more than $100,000 a year. Chief executive Rich Davey topped the list at $300,000.
“Governor Patrick has a passionate voice and unbridled enthusiasm for promoting Boston and Massachusetts to the world and believes the Olympic and Paralympic Games can greatly benefit the Commonwealth,” said Boston 2024 chief operating officer Erin Murphy, in a statement. “We are thrilled that he has agreed to help our team.”
Though Boston 2024 is a nonprofit committee that receives no public money, its salaries became an issue after the group last week confirmed that Patrick would take on a paid role with the effort but did not immediately say how much the former governor would make.
Boston 2024 revealed the pay of its employees and consultants Monday after Mayor Martin J. Walsh urged the release of the information “as a testament to the transparency and openness of this process.”
Walsh is a passionate backer of Boston’s pursuit of the 2024 Summer Games. He has cast the effort as a way to drive his agenda to improve transportation, housing, and tourism, and his support is essential to the success of the bid.
The salary data underscores how Boston 2024 has evolved from an all-volunteer group of sports enthusiasts with an improbable dream of bringing the Olympics to Boston, to a multimillion-dollar organization with formidable influence.
In addition to the former governor, Boston 2024 is heavy with connections to Patrick’s gubernatorial administration, in both paid and unpaid positions.
It is a common practice for Olympic bid teams to load up with former politicians and political operatives, specialists say.
“There is nothing more political than an Olympic bid,” said Daniel Durbin, director of the USC Annenberg Institute of Sports, Media, and Society. “You need as many influential, coercive personalities as you can get.”
Boston 2024 is paying $44,000 a month to communications consultants, including $15,000 each to Northwind Strategies — overseen by former Patrick aide Doug Rubin — and Keyser Public Strategies, whose president, Will Keyser, was a key strategist in Governor Charlie Baker’s winning campaign.
The committee also has monthly contracts, for $10,000 each, with William Coyne Jr. and Jack Hart — well-connected lobbyists with South Boston ties.
Boston 2024 reported a monthly total of $124,000 in consultant costs.
The salaries of the top Boston 2024 officers are similar to those who led Chicago’s campaign for the 2016 Olympics, the most recent US bid, according to a 2009 report issued by Chicago’s bid committee. The top two officers from Chicago’s ultimately unsuccessful proposal were extraordinarily wealthy businessmen who took no salary: Pat Ryan, a billionaire insurance magnate, and Mike Roberts, a former president of McDonald’s Corp. Below them, Chicago 2016 had 10 people making more than $100,000, including four who made $200,000 or more. The chief operating officer was the top earner, at $300,000.
How much Patrick could earn with Boston 2024 is not yet known. There is no cap on his deal, but one person with knowledge of Boston 2024’s plans said Patrick would travel no more than “a handful of times” this year. IOC rules strictly limit the opportunities for Olympic bid committees to speak to IOC members in person. Patrick could meet IOC members at major world and continental championships, such as the Pan American Games in Toronto later this year, and at IOC events, such as the committee’s session this summer in Malaysia, when the 102-member committee will choose the host of the 2022 Winter Olympics. Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan, are the two contestants.
A five-day trip on behalf of Boston 2024 would earn the governor $37,500.
The IOC will choose the host of the 2024 Summer Games in 2017. Rome, Paris, and Berlin could make bids along with Boston, which in January won the endorsement of the US Olympic committee. The United States has not hosted the Summer Games since 1996, in Atlanta.
Holy Cross sports economist Victor Matheson said it is no surprise “Deval Patrick himself is going to play an important role. You want to put a very prominent face on your bid committee.”
Boston 2024’s connections to the Patrick administration include Davey, the chief executive, who was Patrick’s transportation secretary. Nikko Mendoza, who was Patrick’s director of operations, is vice president for engagement and external affairs, making $120,000 a year, according to Boston 2024.
Two other former Patrick staffers are key Boston 2024 volunteers: William “Mo” Cowan, a Patrick chief of staff who was appointed by the governor as an interim US senator, is cochairman of Boston 2024’s government and community outreach committee; Juliette Kayyem, a former Patrick undersecretary of homeland security and a former Globe columnist, is cochairwoman of the group’s innovation and technology committee.