The operable provisions of An Act Establishing and Funding the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (H 4864) relating to the MBI board are Section 6, which indicates the required qualifications for appointed MBI board members, and Section 8, which indicates that the terms of all appointed MBI board members will be staggered (one through four years, respectively). The Broadband Act states that all four members appointed by the Governor “shall have knowledge and experience in one or more of the following areas: telecommunications, broadband infrastructure, public-private partnership development, information technology or other fields of experience consistent with the mission of the institute.”
Ex Officio Board Seats
There are five ex officio seats on the 9-person MBI board:
Chairperson of the Board: The Secretary of Housing and Economic Development or his designee
Jay Ash, Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
Jay Ash serves as the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Secretary Ash is responsible for directing and executing Governor Charlie Baker’s agenda on housing and community development, job creation, business development, consumer affairs, and business regulation. He previously served as the city manager in his native Chelsea, a position he held from 2000 to 2014. In Chelsea, Secretary Ash’s leadership produced both economic expansion and fiscal stability. He grew the city’s housing stock by over ten percent, expanded its commercial base with two dozen major projects, led all Gateway Cities with a 15% increase in new employment, developed 10 new parks, secured five credit rating increases, and won two All-America City designations for Chelsea. Secretary Ash has led statewide initiatives on health insurance, youth violence, transportation infrastructure and expanded gaming in Massachusetts. He previously served as co-founder and vice-chair of the Metropolitan Mayors Coalition, as past president of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, as a board member of the public policy think tank MassINC, the staff director to the Massachusetts House Majority Leader, and as an elected trustee of his alma mater, Clark University.
The Secretary of Administration and Finance or her designee
Kristen Lepore was sworn in as Secretary of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance under Governor Charlie Baker in January 2015. In her role, Secretary Lepore is in charge of formulating the governor’s budget plan, providing guidance on the economy, and implementing state government’s operating and capital budgets. She also manages the state's administrative agencies, including revenue collection, information technology, human resources, procurement, and state facilities.
She was previously Vice President of Government Affairs at Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM). As Vice President, she was responsible for AIM’s health care agenda and advocated for policies to lower the cost of health care in Massachusetts. She also worked on education and workforce development issues on behalf of the association.
Immediately prior to joining AIM, she served as Policy Director on Charlie Baker’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign. In addition, she was appointed by President Bush to serve as the New England regional representative for the U.S. Department of Education where she advocated the President’s education agenda. Prior to her federal appointment, she served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Paul Cellucci; Director of Fiscal Policy for the Executive Office for Administration and Finance and Assistant Executive Director of the Massachusetts Port Authority.
Kristen holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Suffolk University and a master’s degree in public administration from Suffolk’s Sawyer School of Management.
The Commissioner of Telecommunications and Cable or her designee
DTC Commissioner Karen Charles Peterson
Karen Charles Peterson is the Commissioner for the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications Cable. She formerly served as Chief of Staff for the Department. Prior to joining the Department, she served as acting Chief of Staff for the MBTA. Karen has years of leadership experience in city and state government, including Chief of Staff of the Executive Office of Transportation and of the Registry of Motor Vehicles. For 5 years she was the booking producer for the award winning news program, Greater Boston with Emily Rooney on WGBH. Karen is a 1993 graduate of Suffolk University where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Government. She is a 1997 graduate of the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Karen is the past president of the Conference Of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO), and the 1999 recipient of the Wonder Woman Award from The Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus. Karen served as a Trustee at the Advent School in Boston, where she recently led the search for the new Head of School.
The Executive Director of MassTech or their designee
Timothy J. Connelly, Executive Director, MassTech
Timothy J. Connelly is the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, or MassTech. Tim is an experienced leader with distinguished career in financial services, as well as a passion for civic engagement, social impact, workforce development, and regional economic growth. Tim was most recently employed at Brown Brothers Harriman, where he spent 30 years working as a managing director, and as a General Partner. At Brown Brothers Harriman, he led service delivery enterprise, innovation and product support, and investor services units. He retired from the firm in December, 2014.
He currently serves on the technology advisory board of BDO Consulting. He is a member of the board of directors of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, and chaired the United Way’s 2014-2015 development campaign. Connelly is a member of the board of trustees of the Carroll School and New England Disabled Sports, a Corporator of Northeastern University, and he serves on the finance and investment committee at the Cotting School.
Tim has served as part-time Faculty Member at the Boston College Carroll School of Business and an Executive in Residence at Northeastern’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business. Tim is a graduate of Williams College, has an MBA from Northeastern University, and holds a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.
The Chairman of the Governing Board of the John Adams Innovation Institute or his designee
Donald R. Dubendorf, Esq.
Don Dubendorf currently serves as chairman of MTC’s John Adams Innovation Institute Governing Board. An attorney in private practice in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Dubendorf complements his concentration in the area of business organizations, contracts and finance with considerable expertise in the areas of environmental law and land use planning. His familiarity with the complex issues involved in administrative compliance and advocacy has made him one of the area’s foremost attorneys in these matters, with a client list of colleges, hospitals, financial institutions and entrepreneurs.
Dubendorf was also a driving force in the WesternMA Connect telecommunications initiative, a model program that helped organize and focus a variety of constituencies in an effort to bring high-speed Internet to western Massachusetts. His work on this project attracted interest nationwide.
For his pioneering telecommunications efforts, Dubendorf was awarded the Mass High-Tech All Star Award in 2000. He is also the co-author of The Insider Buyout, published by Storey Communications, Inc. In 2004, Dubendorf was named as one of Massachusetts’ Super Lawyers. The list of 2004 Massachusetts Super Lawyers includes only the top 5 percent of Massachusetts attorneys in more than 60 practice areas and is based on surveys of more than 37,000 lawyers across the state and through independent research by Law & Politics.
There are four appointments made by the Governor that complete the 9-person MBI board:
Dr. David D. Clark (term expired January 7, 2015)
David Clark is a Senior Research Scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, where he has worked since receiving his Ph.D. there in 1973. Since the mid 70s, Dr. Clark has been leading the development of the Internet; from 1981-1989 he acted as Chief Protocol Architect in this development, and chaired the Internet Activities Board. His current research looks at re-definition of the architectural underpinnings of the Internet, and the relation of technology and architecture to economic, societal and policy considerations. He is helping the U.S. National Science foundation organize their Future Internet Design program. Dr. Clark is past chairman of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Academies, and has contributed to a number of studies on the societal and policy impact of computer communications. He is co-director of the MIT Communications Futures Program, a project for industry collaboration and coordination along the communications value chain.
Linda Dunlavy (term expires January 7, 2020)
Linda Dunlavy is the Executive Director of the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG). Dunlavy has worked for the FRCOG since 1993 and has led the organization as Executive Director since 1999. During her tenure as Executive Director, the FRCOG has grown to 45 employees with an operating budget of $4 million, and is recognized as a leader in regionalism across Massachusetts. Through her work, Dunlavy has served on a variety of regional and statewide committees and commissions. Since its inception in 2003, Dunlavy has been Co-Chair of Pioneer Valley Connect, an effort to bring broadband access to the three western Massachusetts counties that are known as the Pioneer Valley. She has served on several statewide transportation-related committees including the task force that created the award-winning MassHighway Design Guidebook. She currently serves on the Town of Hadley School Committee; the WGBY Public Television Board of Tribunes; the Board of Directors of Rural Development, Inc.; and the Board of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce.She holds a Master’s degree in Regional Planning from the University of Massachusetts and a Bachelor’s degree from Boston College. Before working for the FRCOG, Dunlavy worked in the mental health field in Boston, managing programs that support disadvantaged individuals in obtaining job and life skills.
Frederick Keator (term expires January 7, 2018)
Frederick Keator began his industry career over 20 years ago as a Syndicate Trader at First Albany Corporation in New York. He serves as a Managing Partner and COO of Keator Group, LLC – a total balance sheet management firm - where he has been recognized by leading industry publications as one of America’s top 100 Independent Advisors and by Barron’s Magazine as one of the country’s top Financial Advisors.
Frederick has served on various boards and town government committees including the Board of Assessors, Vice-Chair of Finance, and Chairman of Community Preservation for the Town of Lenox.
He also serves on a variety of boards and community organizations including 25 years as Secretary, Treasurer and/or President of both the Lenox Police Association as well as a member of the Franciscan Volunteer Ministry Finance Committee and is a former Trustee of the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA.
Paul Peter Nicolai, Esq. (term expires January 7, 2021)
Paul Peter Nicolai has been with the Nicolai Law Group, P.C., since 1988 and has held the title of President since 1990. The firm focuses on Corporate, Business & Commercial Law, International Private Transactions, Contract, Construction, Computer, State Taxation, Trade Secret, Trademark, Copyright, Trade Regulation, Merger & Acquisition, Employment Law, EEO, Advertising, Franchising and Litigation including Arbitration & Mediation. From 1976 to 1988, he held various roles at Wilbraham-based Friendly Ice Cream Corporation, including as Company Counsel & Assistant Clerk, where he reported directly to the CEO and served on the company’s Strategic Planning Group. Attorney Nicolai has been involved in numerous technology and economic development-focused roles, currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts, including as chair of the Infrastructure Committee. He also sits on the Steering Committee of the Regional Technology Corporation’s Technology Enterprise Council; is a member of River Valley Investors, an angel investment group in the Pioneer Valley; volunteers as a mentor and facilitator for Springfield’s startup incubator, Valley Venture Mentors; and sits as a board member of several private technology firms. Nicolai received his J.D. from Western New England University College of Law and his B.A. from American International College.