TBF names Dwight Poler Chair of the Board of Directors; adds two new Directors

Abrams Capital Managing Director Raja Bobbili, Rabbi Elaine Zecher of Temple Israel of Boston to join Board

June 27, 2024

Boston – The Boston Foundation today announced that Dwight Poler, founder and CEO of AccelR8 Ventures, will become Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors on July 1. Poler, the Board’s current Vice Chair, takes over from Linda Mason, who leaves the Board after ten years of service on June 30, 2024, because of term limits. The Foundation also announced the appointment of two new members to the Board: Raja Bobbili, Managing Director at Abrams Capital, and Elaine Zecher, Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel of Boston, for terms beginning July 1, 2024. Bobbili and Zecher replace Mason and State Street Chairman and CEO Ron O’Hanley, who also rotates off after ten years because of term limits.

“As Chair, Linda Mason has guided the Boston Foundation through a pandemic, a racial reckoning, a CEO transition, a rebrand, and a shift in strategic focus,” said Lee Pelton, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “We will miss her inspired leadership, her passion for our work, and her guiding hand as we navigated these changes. We are grateful to her and look forward to Dwight’s energy and experience to guide us through this next chapter at the Foundation.”

Poler, Founder and CEO of Accelr8 and a longtime executive with Bain Capital, has been a Director at the Boston Foundation since 2018 and has served as Vice Chair for the past year. He has also served as Chair of the Board’s Development Committee and led the Annual Campaign for Civic Leadership on multiple occasions.

“Serving on the Board of the Boston Foundation for the past decade, working with the remarkable slate of Directors, staff, and leadership, has been my great honor,” said Mason, who chaired the Board for four years. “Leading the foundation’s work to create a more vibrant and equitable Greater Boston, to reshape our strategic priorities, and to commit to tackling challenging issues from early education and health to jobs and the racial wealth gap has been tremendously rewarding. Under the brilliant leadership of Dwight Poler, and with Raja and Elaine joining as Directors, I am confident TBF will continue to advance its work in partnership with our donors, nonprofits, and community leaders.”

The full Board approved the new Directors in a vote at the June 25th meeting. Their biographies are below, and photos are available upon request.

Raja Bobbili

Raja H. R. Bobbili is a Managing Director at Abrams Capital, an investment firm based in Boston. Bobbili helps lead investments across a range of industries and asset classes. Born in India and raised in Zambia, Bobbili immigrated to the United States at the age of 16 to attend MIT. He later completed graduate studies at Harvard University, receiving a JD and an MBA from Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School, respectively. He currently sits on the board of the Whitehead Institute and has previously served on the board of trustees of MIT (MIT Corporation) and the Harvard Business School Alumni Board. In addition, he sits on multiple corporate boards. Bobbili lives in Massachusetts with his wife and three children.

Rabbi Elaine Zecher

Elaine Zecher is the Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel of Boston, the largest Reform Jewish congregation in New England, which she joined as its first woman rabbi in 1990.  Rabbi Zecher focuses on building relationships that celebrate and transcend differences as a way to endeavor to engender understanding.  She is committed to fostering a broad sense of community as the most certain path to establishing connections among individuals and diverse groups. Fostering “allyship” is a hallmark, both of her thinking and her approach.  Within the congregational community, Rabbi Zecher emphasizes inreach, encouraging the development of meaningful connections.

Active in social justice initiatives throughout the city, Rabbi Zecher is a tireless worker in interfaith partnerships with other clergy and religious institutions.  She has reached out to our elected leaders, building ties based on shared priorities and concerns.  Rabbi Zecher believes in the values of compassion and caretaking of our fellow citizens, encouraging civic participation across generational lines. 

Rabbi Zecher is known as an innovator in many areas, including creative approaches to prayer and liturgy, which have added new dimensions to communal worship. She was instrumental in developing new prayer books for the Reform movement and has served as Vice President for Leadership of the national organization, the Central Conference of American Rabbis. She has also held many leadership positions in other Jewish communal organizations. A graduate of Brandeis University, Rabbi Zecher was ordained by the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion.  She is married to Dr. David Eisenberg and has three adult children.

Dwight Poler
New TBF Board Chair Dwight Poler
Raja Bobbili
Raja Bobbili
Rabbi Elaine Zecher
Rabbi Elaine Zecher