Chief of Planning Arthur Jemison announced the hiring of Luis R. Frias II as the new Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) for the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA). Frias will serve as a member of the Agency’s senior leadership team and be charged with the development and oversight of the Agency’s equity and diversity priorities. In this capacity, he will work to establish collaborative partnerships with internal and external stakeholders and foster a more diverse, inclusive, equitable, welcoming, and supportive agency.“I’m happy to welcome Luis to the Agency, and look forward to the important and positive impact he will have on helping us plan a more equitable Boston,” said Chief of Planning Arthur Jemison. “I am excited to work with him to ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion are priorities in all of the BPDA’s work, and to ensure we are building a City that best serves our residents.”
“I’m pleased to join the BPDA and to help advance its mission to create and guide inclusive and equitable growth in our city,” said Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Luis Frias. “In my short time here, I’ve already witnessed the passion, dedication, and brilliance of this team. I’m deeply honored to be in this role, as we work together to shape Boston’s future.”
Frias has spent the last decade working in higher education. He joins the Agency from Northeastern University, where he served as the Program Manager for Engineering PLUS, a National Science Foundation grant focused on creating networked communities and inclusive infrastructure across the nation to achieve the transformative, systemic, and sustainable change needed to increase undergraduate and graduate degree attainment for BIPOC and women engineering students. He also served as the Associate Director for Diversity Programs for Northeastern’s College of Engineering, where he focused on both College and University level DEI initiatives.
While working at Northeastern, he also received the Black Heritage Award, given to Northeastern staff and administrators in recognition of their years of dedicated service to Northeastern, to students, and to the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute. A Worcester native, he graduated from Anna Maria College in Paxton, Massachusetts in 2013 with a major in Legal Studies. He also received a Master’s from Northeastern in Applied Educational Psychology in 2020.
The work of the Director of DEI will build on efforts already underway to support equity by creating affordable housing, jobs, resilient infrastructure, and open space in every neighborhood. Additional efforts underway include leveraging funding from large real estate development to support workforce development and training, equitable procurement policies, requiring diversity criteria for developing publicly-owned land, and the BPDA’s DEI in Development Policy, announced in 2022, to promote diversity within large private development projects in the City of Boston.