December 14, 2021

Sasaki Foundation Announces New Executive Director

Sasaki Foundation Announces Lawrence as New Executive Director

After a search process that yielded more than 130 candidates from a wide range of backgrounds, the Sasaki Foundation is thrilled to announce Jen Lawrence, formerly of the City of Cambridge, as our new executive director. She will guide the Sasaki Foundation in pursuit of our vision: a future in which the power of community-based planning and design is fully realized for the benefit of the public good. With Jen, the Sasaki Foundation will continue our impact through active community-based research, public programming, and design education.

Jen brings a strong background in planning and design and community engagement, along with experience in both the civic and nonprofit sectors. With the City of Cambridge, she has been a part of the Community Development Department as a sustainability planner, engaging with public school systems, seeing innovation, and addressing environmental challenges. She also previously served as executive director for the nonprofit Groundworks Somerville, which focuses on community engagement, environmental and open space improvements, youth education, and employment initiatives. Her background and experience will support the Sasaki Foundation’s work to foster community across a wide range of organizations, civic leaders, city agencies, academic institutions, and the design community. Under her leadership, we will develop new and existing partnerships as we explore innovative solutions towards building more equitable cities and communities.

In Jen’s own words, “I strongly believe that the power of design is, in fact, within all of us. This belief is the reason why I do the work that I do. My passion is to ensure all people feel they have a voice in their community. I hope to create meaningful experiences—specifically for those who have been excluded from participation—that empower action, create just communities, and foster the next generation of leaders.”

At the Sasaki Foundation, we are thankful for Alexandra Lee’s impressive work as our inaugural executive director, and are looking forward to our next chapter with Jen and our upcoming move downtown, working to serve the communities of Boston and beyond.

Please join us in welcoming Jen to the Sasaki Foundation, and as always, thank you for your continued support as we provide access to design to communities who need it most.


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