Press Room

Boston Public Library Foundation Welcomes New Executive Director

by mschuler

Lisa Bevilaqua, Executive Director of the Boston Public Library Foundation

Lisa Bevilaqua, Executive Director of the Boston Public Library Foundation

BOSTON, MA – September 16, 2015 – Today, the Boston Public Library Foundation (the “Library Foundation”), a non-profit affiliate of the Boston Public Library (“BPL”), announced that Lisa Bevilaqua, former Director of Development at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, will serve as the new Executive Director of the Library Foundation. The Library Foundation’s mission is to be an advocate, and to raise public awareness and philanthropic support for the operations and capital projects of the BPL’s Central Library and 24 branches.

“I am pleased that Lisa has agreed to take on this important role supporting the Boston Public Library and its top notch programming and services for the public to enjoy,” said Mayor Walsh.

“I am looking forward to working closely with the Library Foundation’s Board of Directors, the BPL’s Trustees and staff, and other library affiliates, in expanding public awareness and private support for all that the library is doing, and can do, for our urban communities,” said Bevilaqua. “In partnership with Mayor Walsh, who has made the health and vibrancy of the BPL a priority, the Library Foundation will look to attract the kind of philanthropic and civic leadership that led to the founding of the BPL over a century and a half ago.”

“Lisa’s dynamic understanding of development strategies, ranging from events to major gifts to government fundraising, will be incredibly useful to the Library Foundation as it works to expand its support of the BPL,” said Jeff Hawkins, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Library Foundation.

“The Library Foundation is an important ally in the work we’re doing at the BPL to provide access to learning in Boston,” said John Hailer, Interim Chair of the Boston Public Library Board of Trustees. “Congratulations to the Library Foundation board for identifying Lisa as the next Executive Director. I look forward to a close working relationship.”

“The Boston Public Library can only fulfill its mission of “Free to All” with strong support from the broader community,” said David Leonard, Interim President of the Boston Public Library. “The Library Foundation currently supports programs such as Summer Reading and the Lowell Lecture series, and has the potential to be a significant resource for the BPL. I look forward to collaborating with Lisa in the months ahead on new programs, campaigns, and outreach.”

Bevilaqua is a seasoned non-profit executive with 18 years of experience.  Most recently she served as the Director of Development at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and was instrumental in the successful completion of the museum’s $180 million capital campaign that led to inspiring new programming spaces, a state-of-the-art conservation center and significant endowment growth.

As part of her 12 year tenure at the Gardner, Bevilaqua successfully served in two prior positions, first as Director of Institutional Support, and then as Deputy Director of Development.  In addition to working on the capital campaign, other highlights of her accomplishments include increasing annual and event support, and stewarding and engaging the governing Board and volunteers through special initiatives and program committees. Bevilaqua was also a member of the Gardner’s leadership team, working closely with the museum’s Director and Board on institutional and strategic planning during a time of transition and transformation.

Prior to the Gardner, Bevilaqua held senior management positions at the New England Aquarium and Boston Medical Center, and her development and non-profit career began at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Bevilaqua earned a Bachelor of Liberal Studies, English from Boston University, and a Masters in non-profit management from the Heller School at Brandeis University. Bevilaqua is from Boston’s North End, and currently resides in Jamaica Plain.


The Boston Public Library Foundation acts as a partner and ambassador for the Boston Public Library and encourages philanthropy at all levels to help the library achieve its goals. In recent years, the Boston Public Library Foundation secured support for academic and enrichment programs for children, teens and lifelong learners, including summer reading, after school programs, science programs, and an adult lecture series. To learn more, visit