Renowned public policy and housing expert joins Boston Foundation staff as Senior Fellow

February 2, 2017

BOSTON – The Boston Foundation is pleased to announce that Barry Bluestone, founding Director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy, at Northeastern University, has joined the foundation as Senior Fellow.

Bluestone, who led the Dukakis Center from 1999 to 2015, was also the founding Dean of Northeastern’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs from 2006 to 2012, and is currently Russell B. and Andrée B. Stearns Trustee Professor of Political Economy in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs.

While a renowned public policy, housing, and urban development expert, Bluestone is also well known as the principal author of the Boston Foundation’s annual Greater Boston Housing Report Card, a report examines the state of the Greater Boston housing market and real estate industry, particularly where affordability is concerned. In his new role at the foundation, Bluestone will continue to write and edit the report card.

“Few people in the Boston area have the depth of knowledge that Barry has when it comes to the development issues that challenge our region,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Foundation. “Whether the topic is the dearth of affordable housing or our strained transportation infrastructure, Barry is in a class of his own when it comes to expert analysis and creative problem solving. The Boston Foundation looks forward to continuing our strong relationship with Barry and benefitting from his insights on a regular basis.”

Bluestone, founding member of the Economic Policy Institute, along with Robert Reich, Lester Thurow, Robert Kuttner, Ray Marshall, and Jeff Faux, is also the author or co-author of six books, among them, The Deindustrialization of America (1982), a sequel published in 1988, The Great U-Turn: Corporate Restructuring and the Polarizing of America, Negotiating the Future: A Labor Perspective on American Business (1992), co-authored with his father, Irving Bluestone, and Growing Prosperity: The Battle for Growth with Equity in the 21st Century and The Boston Renaissance: Race, Space, and Economic Change in an American Metropolis, both published in 2000.

The Urban Experience: Economics, Society, and Public Policy, Bluestone’s most recent work, a major textbook, was published in 2008.

“I’ve always thought the Boston Foundation was the leading civic institution in the Commonwealth, certainly the finest in all of Greater Boston,” Bluestone said. “Now that I’m halftime at Northeastern University, I hope to work with the Foundation on the enormous income inequality and lack of social mobility here in Boston, and suggest concrete solutions to help all Bostonians compete in and build on our strong economy for the future.”

In addition to the advisory council to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Administration and Finance, Bluestone has served on the Governor’s Economic Development Strategy Council, the executive board of the Governor’s Advance Manufacturing Collaborative, and the Community Affairs Research Advisory Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. He is a past board member of the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater (WHAT) and a board member of the Lyric Stage of Boston.

Bluestone lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his wife Mary Ellen Colten. Their son Joshua teaches English and Spanish in the Chicago Public School system.


The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the largest community foundations in the nation, with net assets of close to $1 billion. In 2016, the Foundation and its donors made $101 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of more than $107 million. In celebration of its Centennial in 2015, the Boston Foundation launched the Campaign for Boston to strengthen the Permanent Fund for Boston, the principal endowment fund focused on the most pressing needs of Greater Boston. The Foundation is proud to be a partner in philanthropy, with more than 1,000 separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes.

The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, think tank and advocacy organization, commissioning research into the most critical issues of our time and helping to shape public policy designed to advance opportunity for everyone in Greater Boston. The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI), a distinct operating unit of the Foundation, designs and implements customized philanthropic strategies for families, foundations and corporations around the globe. For more information about the Boston Foundation and TPI, visit or call 617-338-1700.