Rivera gets long contract extension at MassDevelopment

Move comes as Baker is preparing to leave office

WITH LESS THAN a month before a new governor takes over, the MassDevelopment board of directors approved a long-term contract extension for Daniel Rivera, the authority’s president and chief executive officer.

A spokesman for the authority confirmed the board on Wednesday extended the contract of Rivera until June 30, 2026, and said the vote was unanimous. He provided no additional information and there was no announcement of the extension on the MassDevelopment website.

MassDevelopment CEO Daniel Rivera

Rivera, a Democrat, is the former mayor of Lawrence and a close political ally of Gov. Charlie Baker. He endorsed Baker’s reelection bid in 2018 and served on the governor’s COVID-19 reopening task force.

Rivera was elected to two terms as mayor of Lawrence but left the  post a year early to take the helm at MassDevelopment on January 1, 2021. He was nominated for the job by Baker.

MassDevelopment is a quasi-independent state authority, but the governor wields enormous influence over its operations. He appointed all of the current board members and the board’s chair is Mike Kennealy, the governor’s secretary of housing and economic development.

A spokeswoman for Maura Healey did not respond to emailed questions about whether the governor-elect was consulted about the contract extension.

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Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

Rivera, according to state records, makes an annual salary of $235,000. It was unclear if the contract extension approved by the board was accompanied by any other changes in his contract terms.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. The agency was formed in 1998 from the merger of the Government Land Bank and the Massachusetts Industrial Finance Agency. It provides low-cost financing for a wide range of businesses and organizations, redevelops surplus properties, and promotes the state’s Gateway Cities.