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Vanessa Otero MassDOT BdGovernor Charlie Baker is announcing the appointment of Vanessa Otero of Springfield to the eleven-member Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Board. Lt. Governor Karyn Polito administered the oath of office to Ms. Otero during an event today in Springfield.

Ms. Otero, Chief Operating Officer at Partners for Community, has led strategic planning, grant writing, program evaluation and risk management efforts.  Since joining the organization in 2010 as a member of the executive team, her responsibilities have also included overseeing $70 million in public and private grants and contracts.  Previous to employment with Partners for Community, Ms. Otero held the position of Director, North End Campus Coalition.  With the Coalition, Ms. Otero was responsible for developing and implementing community-based programming to address health indicators in the North End neighborhood of Springfield, organized stakeholders to engage community members and initiated policy development activities.

“On behalf of the MassDOT Board, I wish to welcome Vanessa Otero to our team,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “Vanessa’s financial management experience, extensive community engagement activities, leadership roles in strategic planning, and direct oversight of contracts and grants make her well-positioned to assist MassDOT as a Board member with budget decisions, project delivery and public engagement in our many programs and initiatives.”

Ms. Otero has a bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies from Smith College, a master’s in Public Administration from the University of Massachusetts, and was a Massachusetts Institute of Technology Springfield Fellow in Urban Planning in 2012.

Ms. Otero was employed as a Migrant Head Start Specialist for HCS Head Start Inc. from 2004 to 2006 when she became the Program Development Manager in 2006.  Ms. Otero also served as Director of the North End Campus Coalition in Springfield, from 2010 to 2012.

More recently, Ms. Otero was employed as the Deputy Director of Partners for Community and since 2017 she has held the position of Chief Operating Officer of Partners for Community.

Ms. Otero has played an active role in community organizations and continues to serve as part of many boards and institutions, including as a board member of Sisters of Providence Health Systems/Mercy Hospital, Regional Employment Board, Brightwood Development Corporation, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, Veritas Preparatory Charter School, and New England Farm Workers’ Council. She also serves as Commissioner of Springfield Water and Sewer and as a founding member of the Puerto Rican/Latino Leadership Council and the Healing Racism Institute of Pioneer Valley.

The MassDOT Board of Directors serves as the governing authority for MassDOT. Each member of the MassDOT Board is required to fulfill specific criteria with expertise in transportation, finance, and/or engineering. The Secretary of Transportation is the Chair of the Board.

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