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Healey names former city councilor O’Malley to BPDA board

He is the third new member appointed to the board since Mayor Wu took office

Matt O'Malley spoke at his final Boston City Council meeting in December 2021.Erin Clark/Globe Staff

Governor Maura Healey has appointed former Boston city councilor Matt O’Malley to be her representative on the board of the Boston Planning & Development Agency, BPDA officials said Friday.

O’Malley, who served six terms on the City Council representing a district that includes much of Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, and West Roxbury, left City Hall in 2022 for a job as chief sustainability officer at Vicinity Energy, where he oversees the energy company’s decarbonization efforts. Now he’ll be back, at least for the BPDA’s monthly board meetings.

“As a born and raised Bostonian, it is an honor to be a part of the board that will grow Boston over the next few decades,” O’Malley said in a statement. “I’d like to thank Governor Healey for appointing me, and I look forward to working with my fellow board members to ensure Boston’s future is green and accessible to people from all walks of life.”

While on the council, O’Malley was a leading voice on environmental issues and in 2021 sponsored a measure requiring large buildings to monitor, report, and sharply reduce their carbon emissions. Now as one of five members of the BPDA board, he’ll be in position to vote on the next wave of large development projects being designed with those new lower emissions targets in mind from the ground up.


“Matt O’Malley is a proven leader with a track record of engaging community in the work of building a brighter and healthier future,” said Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, who often worked with O’Malley when they were colleagues on the Boston City Council. “His work in decarbonizing buildings through a just transition from fossil fuels continues to shape Boston to be more sustainable and resilient. I am grateful to Governor Healey for nominating him and to Matt for stepping up in service.”


O’Malley replaces Brian Miller, a financial adviser from South Boston who was appointed to the board by then-Governor Charlie Baker in 2020. While four of the five board seats are appointed by the mayor of Boston, under the BPDA’s charter, the governor retains control of one seat.

“Matt O’Malley has a deep understanding of the role of the BPDA from his time on the Boston City Council, and his commitment to housing and sustainability make him a valuable addition to the Board,” Healey said in a statement. “I was proud to appoint him and look forward to the important work he will do along with his fellow Board members.”

Since taking office in 2021, Wu has also named two new members to the board — Carpenters union official Raheem Shepard and former Boston Housing Authority director Kate Bennett — to serve alongside longtime member Ted Landsmark and board chair Priscilla Rojas. The board plays a key role in reviewing and approving most large-scale real estate development projects in Boston.

Tim Logan can be reached at timothy.logan@globe.com. Follow him @bytimlogan.