Brenda McKenzie was recently named the new director of economic policy for the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), the city’s planning and economic development agency.
McKenzie comes to Boston from Chicago, where she worked as a top official in the administration of Mayor Richard Daley as deputy commissioner for the city’s of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development. During her 11-year tenure with the City of Chicago, McKenzie also worked for the Department of Housing, the Chicago Housing Authority and the Office of Budget & Management.
McKenzie has also owned and operated her own real estate consulting firm. For the last two years, she worked for Starbucks Coffee, managing Government & External Affairs in the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility division.
“Ms. McKenzie’s impressive background and knowledge of city government will serve the BRA well,” Mayor Thomas M. Menino said in a statement. “I look forward to her guiding the city’s growth and ensuring that our economy remains strong.”
The BRA’s Economic Development division guides the city’s real estate development review process and manages key services and incentives in support of Boston’s growing economy.
As director of economic development, McKenzie will lead a staff of approximately 75, overseeing development review, asset management, capital construction, institutional development, economic initiatives, financial services, industrial development and operations.
“I’m delighted that Brenda is joining our team of professionals who work each and every day to build a better Boston,” said BRA Director John F. Palmieri. “She is an experienced economic development professional, and I know that she will help us accomplish great things for the city.”
McKenzie holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration/marketing from the University of Illinois-Urbana, and a master’s of public administration degree from the University of Illinois-Chicago.