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In the news: Oliver Sellers-Garcia

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In the news: Oliver Sellers-Garcia
Oliver Sellers-Garcia COURTESY PHOTO

Mayor Michelle Wu appointed Oliver Sellers-Garcia as the City of Boston’s first ever Green New Deal director. Sellers-Garcia brings years of experience working in urban planning, climate change mitigation, resiliency, and sustainability. In this role, Sellers-Garcia will be charged with Wu’s goals to make Boston a Green New Deal city through planning for an equitable, sustainable future. As a cabinet-level senior advisor, Sellers-Garcia will work in partnership with the mayor, the chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space (EEOS), the chief of Operations, chief of Streets, chief of Planning, school superintendent, and other senior city officials.

In this role, Sellers-Garcia will have the opportunity to shape an all-of-government approach to climate and equity-led governance and help make Boston a groundbreaking model of city leadership. He will be responsible for shaping and driving implementation of the Green New Deal agenda, working closely with city cabinet leaders and departments on issues including planning, housing, transit, jobs, energy use and electrification.

The Boston Green New Deal is a vision for tackling the climate crisis with strategies that address economic, social and racial inequities. Eliminating climate change pollution and building resilience to a changing climate will require a transformation of public infrastructure and systems. Implementation of the Boston Green New Deal is an investment in initiatives that spark this transformation and deliver tangible improvements to the people of Boston. 

Sellers-Garcia most recently served as the director of resiliency and equity at the MBTA, where he leads a new program that integrates resilient design, sustainability, and social equity into infrastructure development. Since assuming this position in 2021, Sellers-Garcia has worked across the agency to develop measurement systems and new practices for design and community engagement. 

From 2014 to 2021, Oliver served as the director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and Environment in Somerville, Massachusetts. In this role, Sellers-Garcia acted as the city’s chief sustainability officer for municipal operations and the head of the citywide environment department. Under his leadership, in 2018, Somerville released its first climate action plan, among the first municipal climate action plans to integrate resilience, greenhouse gas reductions, and equity.   

The son of Guatemalan and American parents, Oliver grew up in a bicultural environment in the Boston area and is a native bilingual Spanish speaker. He lives with his partner in Roxbury. Oliver holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from Columbia University and a Master’s in City Planning from MIT.

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