DEVENS – The state’s quasi-public development agency MassDevelopment will soon be in need of new leadership with CEO Lauren Liss preparing to step down at the end of the year after three years at the helm.
The Baker administration planned to announced Liss’ departure on Monday, and said that Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy, who chairs the MassDevelopment board, will be leading the search for the next head of the agency.
“Lauren has been an incredible partner and leader as she has put MassDevelopment’s many programs and resources to work creating jobs for our residents, increasing investment in our communities, and spurring economic growth statewide,” Kennealy said in a statement announcing Liss’s departure. “From providing critical financing to growing businesses to supporting the construction of new housing units, Lauren and the MassDevelopment team have played an essential role in our administration’s work on countless projects and initiatives.”
No reason was given for Liss’ departure, though her contract is up this year. MassDevelopment is the quasi-state agency that oversees Devens.
Baker appointed Liss to lead the financing and development agency in 2017 after a career in both the public and private sectors, including a stint as commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection.
MassDevelopment said that in fiscal 2020 the agency financed or managed 341 projects, helping to generate nearly $2.7 billion in investment in the economy and build or preserve 1,787 housing units.
In response to COVID-19, the administration said Liss pivoted the agency to support small businesses, including helping to create crowdfunding opportunities for community partners to adapt public spaces and commercial districts to accommodate social distancing for residents and visitors.