JOE KRIESBERG, a community development leader for the last 29 years, is taking over as president and CEO of MassINC, the nonprofit that conducts research, oversees a for-profit polling firm, and publishes CommonWealthmagazine.
The 59-year-old Kriesberg currently serves as president and CEO of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations, a nonprofit that assists CDCs across the state as they pursue community building projects in affordable housing and small business development.
After nearly three decades with the same organization, 20 as president and CEO, Kriesberg said the opening at MassINC prompted him to consider a move. “It was really about seeking out a different challenge,” he said in a telephone interview.
Kriesberg said community development corporations were initially a response to urban renewal, designed to give voice and economic opportunity to people who felt left out of the decision-making process affecting their communities. He said MassINC has a similar mission at the state level. “It’s just doing it with a slightly different tool box,” he said.
Kriesberg said he has had numerous interactions with MassINC over the years and thinks it has great potential to promote economic inclusion and civic vitality. He said the organization could help develop the next generation of civic leaders, providing them with research and data and giving them voice in the opinion section of CommonWealth.
“I have no interest in changing the mission of MassINC because that mission has never been more important,” he said.
Kriesberg grew up in Syracuse, New York, went to college at Binghamton University, and earned a law degree at Northeastern University.
According to a MassINC press release, Kriesberg during his career has advocated on Beacon Hill for numerous pieces of legislation dealing with housing, foreclosures, and small business development. He also co-founded and serves on the steering committee of the Coalition for an Equitable Economy.
Kriesberg plans to assume his new position in mid-January, replacing Lauren Louison Grogan, who left in June 2022. Maeve Duggan, MassINC’s chief operating officer, has been the acting president and CEO in the interim.