Downtown North Association (DNA) President Louise Fackert announced that John J. “Jay” Walsh has been selected as the new DNA Executive Director. Jay Walsh will be succeeding Bob O’Brien, who is retiring after twenty-five years in that position.
Jay Walsh was selected from among a strong field of candidates after a lengthy recruitment process chaired by DNA Chairman Richard Bertman and other members of the DNA Board of Directors. Mr. Walsh brings to the position more than fifteen years of community and government relations expertise and experience in Boston. Jay will assume the role of DNA Executive Director as of October 1st; and Bob O’Brien will continue to work with him and the organization through the transition period and beyond.
Mr. Walsh served as Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services from 2005 through May of 2014; and prior to that, he had been the Neighborhood Coordinator for West Roxbury and Jamaica Plain. During that period, Jay has also served the City of Boston as a member of the Public Facilities Commission, the Problem Properties Task Force, the Boston Emergency Response Team and the Boston Film Committee.
Jay Walsh is 43 years of age; he is married with two children; and he is a resident of the West Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. In his own community, he is an active member of the Roche Family Community Center Council as well as an NCAA and high school basketball official and a coach in the Parkway Youth Soccer League.
“Jay Walsh brings just the right balance of professional capabilities and personal characteristics to the job of DNA Executive Director” according to DNA President Fackert. “He brings strong emotional intelligence skills, acute political awareness, and a serious commitment to move the Downtown North Association forward in size and diversity. In sum, Jay is a worthy successor to Bob O’Brien; and one who we fully expect will build on a legacy of accomplishment to guide our organization and our community into a bright and interesting future.”
The Downtown North Association is a community-based not-for-profit coalition of the residential, professional, commercial, recreational and institutional interests in the West End neighborhood, which encompasses the sector of Downtown Boston from City Hall Plaza to the Charles River between Beacon Hill and the North End.