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The impact of Rappaport Fellows’ work can be felt in every facet of government, medicine and the arts.

Meet the Rappaport Foundation’s Board of Directors

The Foundation’s board is comprised of academics, civic leaders, and public policy experts who set and drive the organization’s agenda. With an eye toward the future, the board is committed to supporting the next generation of leaders in art, medicine and public policy. We invite you to learn more about each of our board members by clicking on their profile.

Jerome Lyle Rappaport Founder

Jerry Rappaport’s lifelong body of work as a political activist, real estate developer and philanthropist is a testament to his fierce insistence on the betterment of Boston and the Commonwealth.

It’s an unyielding vision, one that has spanned nine decades since he founded the Harvard University Law School Forum in 1946, in an effort to keep fellow students from losing touch with current affairs. In the time since, Mr. Rappaport has reshaped political movements and skylines on his way to becoming one of the most influential figures in the city’s storied history.

His role in John Hynes’ improbable and successful 1949 mayoral campaign, his creation of the New Boston Committee, his development of the Charles River Park as part of the West End Project, his founding of the New Boston Fund and his legendary philanthropic efforts are part of a resume that is almost unfathomable in its scope and longevity. The Harvard Law School Forum today is as healthy as it was those 50-plus years ago, as is the Rappaport momentum that has been building for the better part of a century.

That momentum is positioned to only grow through the like-minded passions fostered and fueled by the Phyllis & Jerome Lyle Rappaport Foundation. With a stated goal of catalyzing new generations of collaborative leaders in the fields of public policy, medicine and the arts, the Foundation – and the many hundreds who have and will benefit from it – are poised to fulfill the Rappaport promise for generations.

Phyllis Rappaport Chairperson

It’s not difficult to trace the roots of Phyllis Rappaport’s passion for hard work, education and philanthropy – all cornerstones of the Rappaport Foundation, of which she is founder and chairperson.

Phyllis’s mother was a 1929 college graduate and math teacher who accurately presumed scholastic success and career paths for each of her four daughters, the youngest of whom was Phyllis.

Her father, meanwhile, worked six days a week selling home heating oil, and 25 years after his passing, Phyllis had taken over her mother’s finances when she discovered weekly checks of $5, $10 and $15 still arriving in the mail.

In the frost-bitten region of eastern New York where the family grew up, many of those customers simply hadn’t been able to pay at the time, but her father would deliver anyway. He had never mentioned it, but those debts were still being paid back more than two decades later.

“I grew up in a very wholesome, kind environment, with a strong sense of values,” Phyllis remembers today.

The upbringing has served her, and those served so generously by the Foundation, very well.

In addition to her lead role at the Rappaport Foundation, Phyllis is also a founder and director of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, which has donated over $125 million to Alzheimer’s research since its inception in 2004.

She has extensive experience in public and non-profit service, having served as an elected member of the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional School Committee for seven years. She was also a longtime trustee of the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum and serves on advisory committees for Massachusetts General Hospital, McLean Hospital, and Harvard University’s Taubman Center for State and Local Government.

As to the education for which her mother so strongly advocated, Phyllis is a graduate of Smith College and Simmons Graduate School of Management, which led to leadership positions in her early career at Hewlett Packard and PricewaterhouseCoopers. She is also the former vice chair of New Boston Fund.

“I like to think that Jerry and I like to think big and into the future,” she says. “I like thinking about possibilities, about things that could be, and I don’t mind working hard to achieve them.”

Jim Rappaport

Jim is a real estate developer, entrepreneur, consultant, attorney and political activist who has served as Executive Chairman of New Boston Fund, Inc., a private equity real estate investment firm.

Jim is currently partnering in several 55-plus residential communities in central Florida, which will provide up to 8,000 homes over the next 10 years. He serves as Vice Chair of Fintiv, Inc., with patents controlling significant intellectual property in the fintech area, along with payment processing and cloud payment and mobile wallet specialties. In addition, Jim does consulting with the goal of helping family businesses become more functional and set better boundaries, roles, responsibilities and accountabilities within the family business and office structure.

Jim has also been active in state and national politics, serving as Massachusetts Republican State Chairman from 1992 to 1997 and as a member of the Republican National Committee. He ran for U.S. Senate in 1990 and lieutenant governor in 2002. He currently serves as Chair of Fiscal Partners, which pursues educating voters on fiscal issues impacting the state.

Jonathan Rapaport

Jonathan Rapaport has served on the Board since December 2007. He graduated Vassar College in 1993, where he majored in Russian Studies and Education. After college, Jonathan lived in Russia, Texas and Manhattan before resettling in the Boston suburbs.

Jonathan has worked on various entrepreneurial endeavors. He is currently the president of Thanks For Everything, an e-commerce concern specializing in custom thank you notes. In his spare time he enjoys rock climbing and blogging.

James Rappaport

James Rappaport holds a BA in Political Science from American University and received his MBA from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. He has devoted his career to improving the effectiveness of his clients, focusing his efforts on talent development, coaching and learning, and organizational health.

James is currently an Expert with McKinsey & Company and, after a 15-year detour in the DC area, lives in Lexington, Mass.

Diego Arambula

Diego Arambula is a Partner with Transcend, working with schools across the country to explore how to best reimagine learning environments to prepare all children to thrive. Prior to joining Transcend in the fall of 2018, Diego spent nearly 15 years working to build, lead and unlock demand for innovative schools.

Diego began his work in public education in 2005 at Summit Public Schools, a leading network of public charter schools headquartered in California. At Summit, Diego was a classroom teacher, a founding principal and the Chief Growth & Innovation Officer. Through his 10 years as a team member, and his years since serving on the Summit Public School board, Diego has supported Summit’s move toward personalization and a refined and scalable school model.

Diego has served as the founder and Executive Director of GO Public Schools Fresno, an education advocacy non-profit focused on unlocking demand for radically re-envisioned school models in his hometown of Fresno, Calif. Diego received his A.B. in government from Harvard University and a Master’s in Education from Stanford University.

Janet Aserkoff

Janet is General Counsel to New Boston Fund, Inc., a position she has held since its founding in 1993.

She began her legal career in Atlanta, Georgia, where she practiced with Atlanta Legal Services Agency, and since 1969 she has represented Charles River Park and New Boston Fund (including its many property-owning entities) in all aspects of commercial real estate law.

Janet is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, magna cum laude, and Emory University School of Law. She has been very active as a fundraiser for Mount Holyoke, and volunteer for its Alumnae Association and for the College. She served a member of the Board of Trustees of Mount Holyoke College from 2006-2011.

She is a long-time member of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation, from which she received the President’s Award in 2009. She has served on the MBF Board since 2010 and was its President from 2016 to 2018.

Janet was a member of the Massachusetts IOLTA Committee from 2016 through 2019. She also served on the Board of The Rashi School for 14 years, including chairing its Building Committee during the design, financing and construction of its current facility, which opened in Dedham in 2010.

Colby Robertson

Colby Robertson is the Executive Director of Wellfit Girls Program Southwest Florida, Inc., a five-month leadership, fitness and empowerment program for high school girls in Collier and Lee County. The mission is to inspire, challenge and empower teen girls to climb high in all areas of life through transformational leadership programs.

Colby earned her BS in Broadcast Journalism and Psychology from the University of Miami (FL) and began a career in television directly out of college. Her seven years of experience as a television reporter included positions as: General Assignment Reporter for WAOW (ABC) in Wausau, Wisconsin; Capitol Reporter for WKOW (ABC) in Madison, Wisconsin, and Collier County Bureau Reporter for WINK (CBS) in Naples, Florida.

Prior to joining Wellfit Girls full time, Colby served on the board of the David Lawrence Center Young Executives and Girls on the Run of Collier County. In 2014, she was named Young Professional of the Year at the Chamber’s Excellence in Industry Awards. Colby was recognized as one of Gulfshore Business’ 40 Under 40 in 2015. Most recently, Colby graduated from the Leadership Collier Class of 2018.

Colby is very passionate about health and fitness and is an avid runner and member of Gulf Coast Runners. Since joining GCR in 2013, she has completed eight marathons and two ultra-marathons.

Scott Harshbarger

Scott Harshbarger is senior counsel in Casner & Edwards’ litigation and nonprofit departments.

He specializes in providing strategic counsel and advice to corporate, nonprofit and public agencies on business ethics, independent investigations, and corporate defense, compliance and risk management, board governance, and government regulation. His distinguished career includes positions in major public office, nonprofit executive management, private legal counsel and numerous board directorships.

Scott has had a long and successful career as a public defender, civil rights attorney, Middlesex District Attorney and Massachusetts Attorney General, and was the democratic nominee for governor in 1998.

While AG, Scott was recognized as a national leader. Not only was he elected president of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), he was also recognized for being one of the first AG’s to sue tobacco manufacturers on behalf of children and public health, and for his pioneering use of chapter 93a to promulgate hand gun safety and regulations.

Edward Glaeser

Edward Glaeser is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1992.

He regularly teaches microeconomics theory, and occasionally urban and public economics. He has served as Director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government, and Director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston.

Edward has published dozens of papers on cities economic growth, law and economics. In particular, his work has focused on the determinants of city growth and the role of cities as centers of idea transmission. He received his Ph.D from the University of Chicago in 1992. His books include “Cities,” “Agglomeration,” and “Spatial Equilibrium, Rethinking Federal Housing Policy and Triumph of the City and Survival of the City.”

James Segel

James Segel is President of the Boston Asset Management Association (BAMA), which consists of the major mutual funds in Boston, including Fidelity, Putnam, EatonVance, Hancock and others.

He served as a Massachusetts State Representative from Brookline from 1973 to 1978 and successfully ran Barney Frank’s first Congressional campaign. He was special counsel to Frank, then Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee (2007-2011), during the last financial crisis. James was the first Executive Director of the Mass Municipal Association, where he served for eight years.

He became counsel to Hale and Dorr (later Wilmer Hale) for nine years before forming his law firm: Smith Segel and Ruddock. He is a graduate of Harvard College, Boston College Law School, and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

James serves on the Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Board of Trustees of Cambridge College, the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Arts Collaborative, the regional Board of the American Jewish Committee, and the Chair of the Board of Advisors of the Rappaport Institute of Harvard.

Jerome Lyle Rappaport Founder

Jerry Rappaport’s lifelong body of work as a political activist, real estate developer and philanthropist is a testament to his fierce insistence on the betterment of Boston and the Commonwealth.

It’s an unyielding vision, one that has spanned nine decades since he founded the Harvard University Law School Forum in 1946, in an effort to keep fellow students from losing touch with current affairs. In the time since, Mr. Rappaport has reshaped political movements and skylines on his way to becoming one of the most influential figures in the city’s storied history.

His role in John Hynes’ improbable and successful 1949 mayoral campaign, his creation of the New Boston Committee, his development of the Charles River Park as part of the West End Project, his founding of the New Boston Fund and his legendary philanthropic efforts are part of a resume that is almost unfathomable in its scope and longevity. The Harvard Law School Forum today is as healthy as it was those 50-plus years ago, as is the Rappaport momentum that has been building for the better part of a century.

That momentum is positioned to only grow through the like-minded passions fostered and fueled by the Phyllis & Jerome Lyle Rappaport Foundation. With a stated goal of catalyzing new generations of collaborative leaders in the fields of public policy, medicine and the arts, the Foundation – and the many hundreds who have and will benefit from it – are poised to fulfill the Rappaport promise for generations.

Phyllis Rappaport Chairperson

It’s not difficult to trace the roots of Phyllis Rappaport’s passion for hard work, education and philanthropy – all cornerstones of the Rappaport Foundation, of which she is founder and chairperson.

Phyllis’s mother was a 1929 college graduate and math teacher who accurately presumed scholastic success and career paths for each of her four daughters, the youngest of whom was Phyllis.

Her father, meanwhile, worked six days a week selling home heating oil, and 25 years after his passing, Phyllis had taken over her mother’s finances when she discovered weekly checks of $5, $10 and $15 still arriving in the mail.

In the frost-bitten region of eastern New York where the family grew up, many of those customers simply hadn’t been able to pay at the time, but her father would deliver anyway. He had never mentioned it, but those debts were still being paid back more than two decades later.

“I grew up in a very wholesome, kind environment, with a strong sense of values,” Phyllis remembers today.

The upbringing has served her, and those served so generously by the Foundation, very well.

In addition to her lead role at the Rappaport Foundation, Phyllis is also a founder and director of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, which has donated over $125 million to Alzheimer’s research since its inception in 2004.

She has extensive experience in public and non-profit service, having served as an elected member of the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional School Committee for seven years. She was also a longtime trustee of the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum and serves on advisory committees for Massachusetts General Hospital, McLean Hospital, and Harvard University’s Taubman Center for State and Local Government.

As to the education for which her mother so strongly advocated, Phyllis is a graduate of Smith College and Simmons Graduate School of Management, which led to leadership positions in her early career at Hewlett Packard and PricewaterhouseCoopers. She is also the former vice chair of New Boston Fund.

“I like to think that Jerry and I like to think big and into the future,” she says. “I like thinking about possibilities, about things that could be, and I don’t mind working hard to achieve them.”

Jim Rappaport

Jim is a real estate developer, entrepreneur, consultant, attorney and political activist who has served as Executive Chairman of New Boston Fund, Inc., a private equity real estate investment firm.

Jim is currently partnering in several 55-plus residential communities in central Florida, which will provide up to 8,000 homes over the next 10 years. He serves as Vice Chair of Fintiv, Inc., with patents controlling significant intellectual property in the fintech area, along with payment processing and cloud payment and mobile wallet specialties. In addition, Jim does consulting with the goal of helping family businesses become more functional and set better boundaries, roles, responsibilities and accountabilities within the family business and office structure.

Jim has also been active in state and national politics, serving as Massachusetts Republican State Chairman from 1992 to 1997 and as a member of the Republican National Committee. He ran for U.S. Senate in 1990 and lieutenant governor in 2002. He currently serves as Chair of Fiscal Partners, which pursues educating voters on fiscal issues impacting the state.

Jonathan Rapaport

Jonathan Rapaport has served on the Board since December 2007. He graduated Vassar College in 1993, where he majored in Russian Studies and Education. After college, Jonathan lived in Russia, Texas and Manhattan before resettling in the Boston suburbs.

Jonathan has worked on various entrepreneurial endeavors. He is currently the president of Thanks For Everything, an e-commerce concern specializing in custom thank you notes. In his spare time he enjoys rock climbing and blogging.

James Rappaport

James Rappaport holds a BA in Political Science from American University and received his MBA from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. He has devoted his career to improving the effectiveness of his clients, focusing his efforts on talent development, coaching and learning, and organizational health.

James is currently an Expert with McKinsey & Company and, after a 15-year detour in the DC area, lives in Lexington, Mass.

Diego Arambula

Diego Arambula is a Partner with Transcend, working with schools across the country to explore how to best reimagine learning environments to prepare all children to thrive. Prior to joining Transcend in the fall of 2018, Diego spent nearly 15 years working to build, lead and unlock demand for innovative schools.

Diego began his work in public education in 2005 at Summit Public Schools, a leading network of public charter schools headquartered in California. At Summit, Diego was a classroom teacher, a founding principal and the Chief Growth & Innovation Officer. Through his 10 years as a team member, and his years since serving on the Summit Public School board, Diego has supported Summit’s move toward personalization and a refined and scalable school model.

Diego has served as the founder and Executive Director of GO Public Schools Fresno, an education advocacy non-profit focused on unlocking demand for radically re-envisioned school models in his hometown of Fresno, Calif. Diego received his A.B. in government from Harvard University and a Master’s in Education from Stanford University.

Janet Aserkoff

Janet is General Counsel to New Boston Fund, Inc., a position she has held since its founding in 1993.

She began her legal career in Atlanta, Georgia, where she practiced with Atlanta Legal Services Agency, and since 1969 she has represented Charles River Park and New Boston Fund (including its many property-owning entities) in all aspects of commercial real estate law.

Janet is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, magna cum laude, and Emory University School of Law. She has been very active as a fundraiser for Mount Holyoke, and volunteer for its Alumnae Association and for the College. She served a member of the Board of Trustees of Mount Holyoke College from 2006-2011.

She is a long-time member of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation, from which she received the President’s Award in 2009. She has served on the MBF Board since 2010 and was its President from 2016 to 2018.

Janet was a member of the Massachusetts IOLTA Committee from 2016 through 2019. She also served on the Board of The Rashi School for 14 years, including chairing its Building Committee during the design, financing and construction of its current facility, which opened in Dedham in 2010.

Colby Robertson

Colby Robertson is the Executive Director of Wellfit Girls Program Southwest Florida, Inc., a five-month leadership, fitness and empowerment program for high school girls in Collier and Lee County. The mission is to inspire, challenge and empower teen girls to climb high in all areas of life through transformational leadership programs.

Colby earned her BS in Broadcast Journalism and Psychology from the University of Miami (FL) and began a career in television directly out of college. Her seven years of experience as a television reporter included positions as: General Assignment Reporter for WAOW (ABC) in Wausau, Wisconsin; Capitol Reporter for WKOW (ABC) in Madison, Wisconsin, and Collier County Bureau Reporter for WINK (CBS) in Naples, Florida.

Prior to joining Wellfit Girls full time, Colby served on the board of the David Lawrence Center Young Executives and Girls on the Run of Collier County. In 2014, she was named Young Professional of the Year at the Chamber’s Excellence in Industry Awards. Colby was recognized as one of Gulfshore Business’ 40 Under 40 in 2015. Most recently, Colby graduated from the Leadership Collier Class of 2018.

Colby is very passionate about health and fitness and is an avid runner and member of Gulf Coast Runners. Since joining GCR in 2013, she has completed eight marathons and two ultra-marathons.

Scott Harshbarger

Scott Harshbarger is senior counsel in Casner & Edwards’ litigation and nonprofit departments.

He specializes in providing strategic counsel and advice to corporate, nonprofit and public agencies on business ethics, independent investigations, and corporate defense, compliance and risk management, board governance, and government regulation. His distinguished career includes positions in major public office, nonprofit executive management, private legal counsel and numerous board directorships.

Scott has had a long and successful career as a public defender, civil rights attorney, Middlesex District Attorney and Massachusetts Attorney General, and was the democratic nominee for governor in 1998.

While AG, Scott was recognized as a national leader. Not only was he elected president of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), he was also recognized for being one of the first AG’s to sue tobacco manufacturers on behalf of children and public health, and for his pioneering use of chapter 93a to promulgate hand gun safety and regulations.

Edward Glaeser

Edward Glaeser is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1992.

He regularly teaches microeconomics theory, and occasionally urban and public economics. He has served as Director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government, and Director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston.

Edward has published dozens of papers on cities economic growth, law and economics. In particular, his work has focused on the determinants of city growth and the role of cities as centers of idea transmission. He received his Ph.D from the University of Chicago in 1992. His books include “Cities,” “Agglomeration,” and “Spatial Equilibrium, Rethinking Federal Housing Policy and Triumph of the City and Survival of the City.”

James Segel

James Segel is President of the Boston Asset Management Association (BAMA), which consists of the major mutual funds in Boston, including Fidelity, Putnam, EatonVance, Hancock and others.

He served as a Massachusetts State Representative from Brookline from 1973 to 1978 and successfully ran Barney Frank’s first Congressional campaign. He was special counsel to Frank, then Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee (2007-2011), during the last financial crisis. James was the first Executive Director of the Mass Municipal Association, where he served for eight years.

He became counsel to Hale and Dorr (later Wilmer Hale) for nine years before forming his law firm: Smith Segel and Ruddock. He is a graduate of Harvard College, Boston College Law School, and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

James serves on the Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Board of Trustees of Cambridge College, the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Arts Collaborative, the regional Board of the American Jewish Committee, and the Chair of the Board of Advisors of the Rappaport Institute of Harvard.

PAGE IMAGE & ARTWORK CREDITS
(top to bottom, left to right)

  1. All photos by Martha Stewart.