She’s joining the Walsh administration. Her mission: to fight inequality in Boston

David L. Ryan/Globe Staff/file 2016

Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s administration has a new point person on efforts to combat racial and economic inequality in Boston.

Walsh’s office said Tuesday that Lori D. Nelson, a former city housing official, has been tapped to be Boston’s newest chief resilience officer, a post created in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation “to lead city-wide resilience building efforts to help Boston implement long-term strategies for protecting the city from the effects of persistent racial and economic inequality.”

The mayor praised Nelson in a statement.


“I am honored to welcome Lori as our new Chief Resilience Officer,” Walsh said. “Her experience as a life-long public servant makes her a perfect fit for this position. From her first job out of college working as the Executive Director of the Black Caucus at the State House on the CORI Reform Bill, to directing constituent services at the Boston Housing Authority, Lori’s mission has always been to give back to her community by increasing access and opportunity to every Bostonian. This role and mission is critical to the success of our city, and I look forward to working with Lori to achieve our resiliency and equity goals.”

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Nelson said she looks forward to the job, in which she’ll oversee implementation of the city's resilience strategy and run the Office of Resilience and Racial Equity.

“I am excited to take on a new role in the City of Boston as Chief Resilience Officer and [turn] my deep experience, creative ideas, and passion for the community into policy that will impact the daily lives of our neighbors,” she said in the release. “Mayor Walsh’s strategic vision and progressive plan gives me the freedom to focus on social resilience and dig deeper into finding the root causes of inequality and I am excited to get started.”

The city also provided a primer on the resilience strategy that Nelson will helm. The initiative “is focused on ensuring every resident can reach their full potential regardless of their background, and removing the barriers of systemic racism that hinder Bostonians from having access to opportunities,” the statement said.

Boston became a partner in the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities network in 2014, joining other urban centers including Paris, Cape Town, Mexico City, and Bangkok, Walsh’s office said.


Nelson’s salary will be $117,500, a city official said.

Milton Valencia of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.