Board of Trustees

The Boston Public Library Board of Trustees oversees the Library’s operating and administrative policies, votes on and establishes Library policy, sets the institution’s strategic goals, and acts as an agent of public trust governing the Library. The Trustees work together with the Library president to carry out governance and policy-making responsibilities, as well as finance and development oversight and strategic planning. Trustees are appointed by the Mayor of Boston.

Robert E. Gallery, Chairman of the Board

Robert Gallery served as Bank of America Massachusetts President from 2004 through 2015, providing business, civic, and philanthropic leadership for the company throughout the Commonwealth. Gallery joined predecessor institution Bank Boston in 1991 and held a number of positions including managing director of U.S. Trust/Private Wealth Management for Greater Boston, various leadership roles in the Corporate-Investment Bank for FleetBoston, and head of Bank Boston's European business while based in London.

Earlier, Gallery held a number of positions at First Chicago in corporate banking and strategic planning from 1975 to 1991. He joined the organization's Boston office in 1981 and served as regional manager from 1986 to 1989.

Gallery has served on several nonprofit boards, including the United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley, Cradles to Crayons, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, and the Overseers of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He is a trustee of the Boston Plan for Excellence, a public/private partnership focused on driving outcomes for all students by developing great teachers and great schools. Between 2012 and 2014, he was chairman of the Board of Overseers at WGBH and served as chairman of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce from 2010 to 2012.

Gallery is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago, BA, and Northwestern University, MBA.

Evelyn Arana-Ortiz, Vice-Chairman of the Board

Evelyn Arana-Ortiz is a Senior Healthcare IT Leader with twenty-plus years of domestic and international healthcare information technology experience, who has demonstrated the ability to improve business operations by increasing customer satisfaction and exceeding financial targets. She is an exceptional leader earning numerous company awards for outstanding performance managing highly complex implementations for health care enterprises.

Mrs. Arana-Ortiz is originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, currently working at GE Healthcare. She is very committed to serving the community and has served at various nonprofit organizations; she currently chairs the BPL Trustees Finance and Audit Committee and the Fellowes Athenaeum Trust Fund Advisory Committee.

Zamawa Arenas

Five-time Emmy award winner Zamawa is a marketing strategist and entrepreneur intent on making a difference. She is the Founder and CEO of Flowetik, a brand marketing consultancy that helps socially responsible leaders grow their startup or social enterprise.

Prior to founding Flowetik, Zamawa served for 15 years as co-owner of Argus, a full-service marketing agency that partners with clients to do work that stands for something; work that matters. She led the agency with a commitment to leveraging resources, transparency, and driving client success.

Active in Greater Boston’s business and nonprofit community, she currently serves on the boards of several organizations including the Boston Foundation, Boston Chamber of Commerce and Eastern Bank. Since 2006 Zamawa has served as a Trustee of the Boston Public Library.

Zamawa has received many awards for her business and community efforts, including five Emmys. She is the recipient of the Emerging Executive Pinnacle Award from the Boston Chamber of Commerce and was named Leading Woman by the Girl Scouts, Patriots’ Trail Council. She received the Give Liberty a Hand award from the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. She was also inducted into the YWCA Academy of Women Achievers, and was named by the Boston Business Journal as a “Hispanic on the Move” an award for Hispanic professionals making a difference in Boston.

A sought-after public speaker, Zamawa is invited to participate in a variety of panel discussions and speaking engagements on entrepreneurship, branding, and marketing, and building leadership in a diverse workplace.

Jabari Asim

Jabari Asim is the author of five books for adults and nine books for children. His most recent works are Only The Strong, a novel; Preaching To The Chickens: A Story of Young John Lewis; and A Child’s Introduction To African American History. His next book, We Can’t Breathe, will be published in October. His other books include Not Guilty: Twelve Black Men Speak Out on Law, Justice and Life (editor); The N Word: Who Can’t Say It, Who Shouldn’t and Why; and What Obama Means: For Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Future.

He is a frequent public speaker and commentator who has appeared on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” “The Today Show,” “The Colbert Report,” “Hannity & Colmes,” “the Tavis Smiley Show,” “the Diane Rehm Show” and countless other programs. His byline has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Essence Magazine, USA Today and the Chicago Tribune, among others.

He was an editor for 11 years at the Washington Post, where he also wrote a syndicated column on politics, popular culture, and social issues. Asim also served for 10 years as the executor editor of the Crisis, the NAACP’s flagship journal of politics, culture, and ideas. His awards and honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2016, and a Massachusetts Book Award Honor. He is an associate professor at Emerson College, where he directs the graduate program in creative writing.

Ben Bradlee Jr.

Ben Bradlee Jr. is currently at work on a new book about the election of Donald Trump, to be published in October by Little, Brown. THE FORGOTTEN: How the Abandoned People of One Pennsylvania County Elected Donald Trump and Changed America, will be an in-depth, closely reported examination of Trump voters in Pennsylvania’s Luzerne County, a swing county in the Northeast part of the state, which played a pivotal role in Trump’s election. THE FORGOTTEN – a reference to the phrase Trump often used to describe his constituency, “the forgotten people’’ -- will be a sociological history, exploring why and how voters stunned the world by electing who they did -- and how America is changing as a result.

Bradlee’s previous book: The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams, was published by Little, Brown in December of 2013. The book was received with critical acclaim, made the New York Times bestseller list, and has been optioned for a movie.

Bradlee spent twenty-five years, from 1979 to 2004, with the Boston Globe—ten years as a reporter and fifteen as an editor. As deputy managing editor, he oversaw the Globe's Pulitzer Prize–winning coverage of the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church from July 2001 to August 2002 and also supervised the production of a book on the subject, Betrayal, which Little, Brown published in June 2002. Spotlight, a major feature film on the Globe’s investigation, was released in the fall of 2015 and won two Academy Awards, one for best original screenplay and one for best picture. Bradlee was portrayed in the film by actor John Slattery.

Bradlee’s first editing assignment was as Political Editor, supervising the paper's State House and City Hall bureaus in 1989 and 1990. He then served as Assistant Managing Editor for local news from January of 1991 to November of 1993, when he was named Assistant Managing Editor for Projects and Investigations. He was later promoted to Deputy Managing Editor, while retaining the same position. In that capacity, Bradlee oversaw the Spotlight Team (the Globe's investigative unit) and several other reporters who produced long-term projects or series. He also worked on an ad-hoc basis with reporters on the metropolitan, business, national, and foreign staffs in producing special projects, and occasionally, wrote major pieces himself.

As a reporter, he served on the Spotlight Team, at the State House bureau, and as the paper's roving national correspondent from 1982 to 1986. He covered the 1988 presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis and also reported overseas for the Globe from Afghanistan, South Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Vietnam.

Bradlee has written three other books. His first was The Ambush Murders, about the case of a black activist accused—and ultimately acquitted after three trials—of killing two white policemen in Riverside, California. It was a story about small-town justice and how justice functions in emotionally charged circumstances when police investigate the deaths of two of their own. The book was published in 1979 by Dodd, Mead and later made into a television movie for CBS.

Bradlee was co-author of Prophet of Blood—the story of polygamous cult leader and self-styled prophet-of-God Ervil LeBaron, whom authorities considered responsible for up to a dozen murders in the Intermountain West and Mexico during the '70s. The book—which explored the interplay between sex, violence, and religion in an offshoot of the Mormon Church—was published by G.P. Putnam in 1981.

Bradlee's third book was Guts and Glory: The Rise and Fall of Oliver North. Published by Donald I. Fine Inc. in 1988, the book chronicled North and the Iran-Contra affair, and was the basis for a four-hour television miniseries which aired on CBS in May of 1989.

A graduate of Colby College, Bradlee served in the Peace Corps in Afghanistan from 1970 to 1972. On his return to the United States in 1972, he went to work as a reporter for the Riverside (California) Press-Enterprise, remaining there until mid-1975.

Cheryl Cronin

With over thirty years of legal and political experience, Cronin has earned an impressive record of managing major issues and challenges to successful conclusions. Cronin’s professional work has involved legal matters and high-profile, complex public matters involving a variety of city, state, and federal agencies and the private sector.

A graduate of Boston College Law School and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, summa cum laude, Cronin began her professional career as the first General Counsel of the Office of Campaign & Political Finance, where she was responsible for bringing to fair conclusion many public and sometimes controversial matters. She served as Legislative Counsel to the Attorney General of the Commonwealth and was responsible for the drafting of comprehensive legislation and playing a key role in advancing legislation through the legislature and the Governor’s office. In private practice for many years since her public service, Cronin has represented individuals, nonprofit organizations, and small and large companies in matters before public agencies at all levels of government. She has also represented public agencies on legal and political matters in a range of substantive areas.

Cronin has also been an active participant in public, professional, and community organizations, with a particular interest in those with goals of bringing others to Boston and the Commonwealth and in preserving and improving the vitality of the city. She has served on the Board of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority and the Strategic Development Study Committee, which authored “A Civic Vision for Turnpike Air Rights in Boston.” She served as Chair of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee for the development of “Boylston Square,” Boston. She was the General Counsel and a Board Member for the Host Committee for the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. She served as a Member of the Board of the Greenway Conservancy. She was a member of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Foundation Board, a member of the Board of the Alliance for Business Leadership, and a member of the Board of the National Center for Time & Learning/Mass 2020. She has served as a finance chair for numerous state and federal political campaigns. In addition to other volunteer activities, she currently serves on the Board of Sail Boston, which worked with Mayor Walsh to bring the Tall Ships to Boston in 2017.

Cronin has been the recipient of awards and recognitions. She was named a Massachusetts Lawyer of the Year for her work related to the 2004 Democratic National Convention. She received the Eleanor Roosevelt Award from the Massachusetts Democratic Party and the Abigail Adams Award from the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus. She has been on Boston Magazine’s lists of "50 Most Powerful Women in Boston." She resides in Boston with her husband and sons.

Linda Dorcena Forry

Linda Dorcena Forry is Suffolk Construction's Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Relations for the Northeast region. In this position, she is responsible for strengthening its diversity and inclusion program, developing long-term talent, and ensuring compliance with local workforce requirements. Before joining Suffolk, Dorcena Forry served in the Massachusetts State Legislature for thirteen years. She was the first woman and person of color elected to represent the First Suffolk Senate District, which includes Dorchester, Hyde Park, Mattapan, and South Boston. She served in the post since 2013 and before that was State Representative for the Twelfth Suffolk House District. 

Dorcena Forry is the daughter of Haitian immigrants and grew up near Uphams Corner in Dorchester. Along with her new trustee position, Dorcena Forry also serves on boards including the John F. Kennedy Library Advisory Board, the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, the Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester, and the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. Dorcena Forry lives in Dorchester will her husband Bill and their four children.

Priscilla Douglas

Priscilla brings over thirty years of experience from leadership roles in business and government to her firm PHDouglas & Associates which helps leaders achieve breakthrough results. Priscilla co-chaired the International Women’s Forum Conference in 2015 that welcomed 828 leaders from thirty countries to Boston. Priscilla has worked with individuals and teams in the automotive, financial services, and technology industries, as well as in government, bringing real-world experience and thought leadership from the public and private sectors to client engagements.

Previously, as a White House Fellow, she served as a Special Assistant to William H. Webster, Director of the FBI. For the Commonwealth of Massachusetts she held two key positions: as Assistant Secretary for Public Safety she launched the Governor’s Task Force on Domestic Violence and instituted Hate Crimes Tracking. As Secretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations she led consumer protection and regulatory reforms. In addition, she successfully introduced the techniques of total quality management across the Commonwealth, which led to an invitation by the Australian Parliament to keynote the launch of their quality initiative.

Priscilla was an instructor in the masters program for Harvard University Radcliffe Seminars, and taught courses in management, leadership and organizational behavior. She introduced seminars to bring the voice of women in business and in politics to her students. While at General Motors, she worked closely with the originator of the quality movement, Dr. W. Edwards Deming. At Xerox she designed a knowledge sharing engagement process and curriculum that was deployed globally.

Priscilla Douglas holds Masters of Education and Bachelor of Science degrees from Northeastern University and a Doctorate of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where her thesis was accepted with distinction. Honors include a Distinguished Service Award from the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women, an Abigail Adams Award, and her service as a White House Fellow.

John T. Hailer

Mr. Hailer is the President & Co-Chief Executive Officer of 1251 Asset Management of the 1251 Capital Group, a financial services holding company with deep industry operating experience.  As former President & Chief Executive Officer—The Americas and Asia of Natixis Global Asset Management, Mr. Hailer was responsible for distribution strategies worldwide and oversaw the business activities of the firm’s asset management affiliates in the United States and Asia.

Mr. Hailer joined the firm in 1999 and was named Chief Executive Officer of what was then IXIS Asset Management Advisors Group that same year and Chief Executive Officer of Natixis Global Associates in 2006.

In these roles, Mr. Hailer developed a strategic global strategy that has repositioned the firm as a solutions provider. His mission was to ensure that the company’s asset management business is responsive to the needs of institutions, intermediaries, and individuals by providing relevant solutions globally.

Before joining the company, Mr. Hailer was with Fidelity Investments Institutional Services Company (FIIS), where he was responsible for new business development in North America and Latin America, directing product and marketing development for institutional channels.

Before joining Fidelity, he was director of retail business development for Putnam Investments, spearheading the development of pricing models, product offerings, and marketing strategies for multiple distribution channels as well as development of international products.

Mr. Hailer received his BA from Beloit College and is a former member of the college's Board of Trustees. He is Chairman of the Board for the New England Council and the Back Bay Association and served more than twenty years on the Board of Directors of The Home for Little Wanderers, the oldest continuous children’s charity in the United States.  Additionally, Mr. Hailer serves as a trustee on several other boards, including Boston Medical Center and the Newport Festival Foundation as well the Boston Bruins Foundation Board. 

Byron Rushing

State Representative Byron Rushing was appointed to the Boston Public Library’s Board of Trustees by Mayor Thomas Menino on September 16, 2010.

Rep. Rushing, who has represented Boston residents in the Massachusetts House of Representatives since 1983, is a member of the House Leadership. He is the Majority Whip and a member of the Rules Committee.

Rushing’s legislative priorities are human and civil rights and the development of democracy; local human, economic, and housing development; and housing and health care for all. He has served in numerous capacities and offices in the legislature.

From 1972 to 1985, he was President of the Museum of Afro-American History. Under his direction, the Museum of Afro-American History purchased and began the restoration of the African Meeting House, the oldest extant black church building in the United States. In 1979, Byron oversaw the lobbying effort in Congress to establish the Boston African American National Historical Site, a component of the National Park Service. Byron led the Museum in the study of the history of Roxbury; the Museum conducted the archaeological investigation of the Southwest Corridor for the MBTA. Byron stays involved in this work: as a legislator he sponsored the creation of Roxbury Heritage State Park. He occasionally leads walking tours of African American and working class neighborhoods in Boston and Roxbury.

Born in New York City, Byron has lived in Boston since 1964. During the 1960s he was active in the civil rights movement—working for CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) in Syracuse, NY—and as a community organizer for the Northern Student Movement in Boston. He directed a group of organizers, Roxbury Associates, who helped to found the Lower Roxbury Community Corporation, one of the first CDCs in the nation, and who began some of the earliest organizing in a black community against the war in Vietnam.

To learn more about our past trustees, read their profiles.

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