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Paul S. Grogan

President & CEO

Paul Grogan

Paul S. Grogan became the President and CEO of the Boston Foundation, one of the nation’s oldest and largest community foundations, on July 1, 2001.  Today, the Foundation has assets of over $1 billion, and distributed $135 million to nonprofit organizations in fiscal year 2017.  Since coming to the Foundation, Mr. Grogan has boosted fundraising and launched high-impact initiatives in education, youth violence prevention, community development, health care and the arts, among others.  Under Mr. Grogan’s leadership the Foundation has become a highly influential civic convener on issues and challenges facing the City of Boston and the region.

Mr. Grogan joined the Boston Foundation from Harvard University, where he served as Vice President for Government, Community, and Public Affairs and as a Senior Lecturer at the Harvard Business School.  Mr. Grogan spearheaded unprecedented University commitments to the community, including $21 million for affordable housing and $5 million for the Harvard After-School Initiative.  He successfully transformed the University’s previously poor relationship with the City of Boston, which paved the way for Harvard to double its property holdings in the Allston neighborhood.  While at Harvard, Mr. Grogan founded “CEOs for Cities” a civic innovation lab and network of urban leaders and change agents from diverse sectors.  CEOs for Cities holds semi-annual conferences and publishes cutting edge research on the nature of successful urban economies.

From 1986 through 1998, he was President and CEO of the nonprofit Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the nation’s largest community development intermediary.  During his term as President, LISC raised and invested more than $3 billion of private capital in inner-city revitalization efforts across America. LISC also made vital contributions to a string of national policy successes, including the creation of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, the establishment of the HOME program, the strengthening of the Community Reinvestment Act and the creation of the New Markets Tax Credit.  Noted author and Dean Emeritus of the Columbia School of Journalism, Nicholas Lemann, has written that “Paul Grogan is one of the heroes of the community development movement.” 

Mr. Grogan’s passion for cities began in Boston where he served Mayors Kevin H. White and Raymond L. Flynn in a variety of staff and line positions.  He headed Boston’s neighborhood revitalization efforts in the early 1980s, where he helped pioneer a series of public/private ventures that have been widely emulated by other cities.  These included the Boston Housing Partnership and the Boston Compact, a partnership between the city’s corporate community and public school system.

Mr. Grogan graduated with honors in American History from Williams College in 1972 and holds a Master’s degree in Administration from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  In 1997, Williams College awarded Mr. Grogan a Bicentennial Medal for his leadership in inner-city revitalization efforts.  He holds honorary degrees from The Boston Architectural College, The Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, The Urban College of Boston and Mount Ida College.  Mr. Grogan is a founder and director of The Community Development Trust; a director of New Profit Inc., and a former trustee of Brandeis University, Williams College, FSG Social Impact Advisors, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

In 2000, Mr. Grogan and Tony Proscio, co-authored the book, Comeback Cities, which syndicated columnist Ron Brownstein wrote is “arguably the most important and insightful book on the American city in a generation.”