Dan Rivera comes to MassDevelopment after serving seven years as Mayor of the City of Lawrence, Massachusetts, where he oversaw 3,500 employees and managed a $341 million annual operating budget. During his time as Mayor, the city saw over $325 million in development, over 2,400 new units of housing (both affordable and market rate, in different stages of completion), and tens of millions of dollars of development plans, studies, infrastructure projects, parks projects, and brownfields cleanups. Dan coordinated and secured city, state, and federal support for large, medium, and small commercial and public developments tied to job creation. He also served as the Chairman of the board of the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit authority.
Dan’s focus on economic and community development as Mayor included: placemaking and quality-of-life investments, brownfields redevelopments, housing, downtown redevelopment, transit-oriented development and equity, infrastructure improvements and investments, and establishing professional, transparent, modern, and streamlined permitting and licensing processes.
Dan is proudest of his time leading the city through the Merrimack Valley Columbia Gas Disaster of 2018 and through the beginning of the current COVID-19 global pandemic. Dan worked to strengthen the city’s financial health (achieving three credit rating increases), diversify the Lawrence Police Department (the only majority-minority department in the Commonwealth), and collaboratively improve the reputation of the City of Lawrence.
Dan was an invaluable member of the Baker-Polito Administration’s Reopening Advisory Board, bringing the municipal viewpoint to the group tasked with developing the Commonwealth’s strategy to reopen the economy during COVID-19, and the COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group. In 2017, Governor Baker tapped Dan to serve on the newly established Latino Advisory Commission charged with addressing the concerns of the Massachusetts Latino community and promoting economic prosperity and well-being.
Prior to his two terms as Mayor of Lawrence, Dan served as Lawrence City Councilor at Large and held various positions in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. He is a veteran of the United States Army, Military Police Corps where he served in the first Gulf War, Desert Shield/Desert Storm, and a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Suffolk University’s Sawyer School of Management, where he earned his Master of Business Administration. Dan lives in Lawrence with his wife, Paula, and their children, Daniel and Charlotte.