Pioneer Institute Announces New Chair of the Board

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on
LinkedIn
+

BOSTON – Pioneer Institute, the leading think tank in Massachusetts with focus areas in education, health, transportation and economic opportunity, today announced the appointment of Adam Portnoy as Chair of its Board of Directors. Portnoy joined the Pioneer Board in 2018 and succeeds Stephen D. Fantone, who served as Chair from 2012. This change occurs as the Institute releases its Pioneer2024 strategic plan, which marks a new stage in Pioneer’s development and outlines initiatives to expand its public interest law activities, dramatically amplify its direct communication audience, and strengthen its policy impact.

Adam Portnoy is President and CEO of The RMR Group (Nasdaq: RMR), which is headquartered in Newton, Massachusetts. RMR is an alternative asset management company that was founded in 1986 to invest in commercial real estate and related operating businesses. RMR currently has $32.1 billion of assets under management, including more than 2,100 commercial properties located throughout North America. The companies managed by RMR collectively have nearly 42,500 employees in locations throughout the United States, including approximately 850 employees located in Massachusetts. In addition to serving on the boards of several publicly traded and privately owned companies managed by RMR, Mr. Portnoy is currently the honorary consul general of the Republic of Bulgaria to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Mr. Portnoy earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy from Occidental College in 1993. Mr. Portnoy has spent most of his life living in Massachusetts and he and his wife Elika currently live in Boston with their two children.

“It has been a great honor to serve as Chair of the Institute,” said Fantone, who served on the Pioneer Board for 13 years and chaired it for eight. He was voted by the board to serve in an ex-officio capacity as chair emeritus. “I am proud of our accomplishments and the institutional strength we’ve built. And 2020 was the proof point—in this unsettling year, we’ve driven big impact, continued to grow our reach, and issued a strategic plan that has earned the trust of and record-setting financial support from our community. With this Board and Adam’s leadership, Pioneer’s impact and reach will only grow. I look forward to working with Adam and the Board on many exciting new initiatives.”

“Pioneer Institute is uniquely positioned to expand educational and economic opportunities for all Massachusetts residents and I am deeply honored to serve as its Chair,” said Portnoy. “I look forward to building on the Institute’s history of impact and its brand of civil discourse and clear communications. The Board aims to accelerate our momentum—increasing Pioneer’s engagement with Massachusetts residents, significantly expanding our donor community and amplifying our impact through strategic litigation.”

Under Fantone’s leadership, the Institute significantly increased the pace of its policy successes, oversaw the expansion of its communications capacity to almost 300,000 individuals, and doubled its budget and the number of Pioneer donors. Noteworthy victories during his term include tax policy wins that maintained the state’s competitiveness, a successful national campaign against the Common Core standards, the adoption of a “soft receivership” at the MBTA, and in 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court’s agreement with the Institute’s amicus curiae brief in the landmark Espinoza case.

“This is a significant moment in the history of our organization. I’m grateful to Stephen for his dedication and commitment to Pioneer, the Commonwealth and the broader community,” said Jim Stergios, Pioneer’s executive director. “I am confident in Adam’s leadership and excited for what the future holds. In the coming weeks, we will share updates about significant new developments at the Institute.”

About Pioneer

Mission
Pioneer Institute develops and communicates dynamic ideas that advance prosperity and a vibrant civic life in Massachusetts and beyond.

Vision
Success for Pioneer is when the citizens of our state and nation prosper and our society thrives because we enjoy world-class options in education, healthcare, transportation and economic opportunity, and when our government is limited, accountable and transparent.

Values
Pioneer believes that America is at its best when our citizenry is well-educated, committed to liberty, personal responsibility, and free enterprise, and both willing and able to test their beliefs based on facts and the free exchange of ideas.

Stay Connected!

Browse recent posts:

American Federation for Children’s Tommy Schultz on School Choice & Edu Federalism

/
This week on “The Learning Curve," Gerard and Cara talk with Tommy Schultz, CEO-elect of the American Federation for Children (AFC). They discuss how COVID-19 school closures have increased the interest in alternatives to public schools, and what AFC's polling shows on shifts in attitudes toward school choice options in both urban and rural communities.

Digesting Digital Medicine: Healthcare Benefits When Smart Pills Track When Taken

/
Host Joe Selvaggi and Pioneer Institute’s Bill Smith talk with Valerie Sullivan, President and CEO of EtectRX about the health care costs of improperly taking prescriptions and the promise of smart pills to signal and track medicines when ingested.

Report: Proposed Graduated Income Tax Might Not Increase State Education and Transportation Spending

While supporters of a state constitutional amendment that would impose a 4 percent tax rate hike on annual income over $1 million claim additional revenue from the surtax will fund public education and transportation needs, the amendment in no way assures that there will be new spending on these priorities. In fact, without violating the amendment, total state education and transportation funding could stay the same or even fall, according to a new review published by Pioneer Institute.

Key Madison Park Program Lags Other State Voc-Techs, but Shows Signs of Improvement

The co-operative education program at Boston’s Madison Park Technical Vocational High School, which places students in paid positions with local employers, lags far behind other Massachusetts vocational-technical schools in terms of both placements and number of employer contacts.  But with the school as a whole beginning to improve after years of turmoil, the co-op is also showing promising signs, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, International Best-Selling Author & Human Rights Activist

/
This week on “The Learning Curve," Gerard and Cara talk with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, founder of the AHA Foundation, and author of the books Prey: Immigration, Islam, and the Erosion of Women's Rights, Infidel: My Life, and Nomad: From Islam to America - A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations. 

Patient-centered Model Outshines Insurance-centered Healthcare during Pandemic

/
Joe Selvaggi talks with Pioneer Institute Senior Fellow Josh Archambault about his newest research paper entitled, "Direct Health Care Agreements: A New Option For Patient-Centered Care That Costs Less and Reduces Provider Burn-out" and how this emerging service model provided its patients with comprehensive health service throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Study Highlights Economic Fallout from California’s 2012 Tax Hike

A 2012 income and sales tax increase in California, named “Proposition 30,” stifled business activity, accelerated out-migration among the wealthy, and ultimately reduced the state’s tax base, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute that aims to share empirical data about the impact of tax policy decisions.

WSJ Drama Editor Terry Teachout on Jazz Greats Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington

This week on “The Learning Curve," Gerard and guest co-host Kerry McDonald continue our celebration of Black achievements with Terry Teachout, drama critic at The Wall Street Journal, and author of such books as Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong and Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington.

Wealth Migration Trends: Remote Work Technology Empowers Workers to Live Anywhere

/
Host Joe Selvaggi talks with Pioneer Institute’s Andrew Mikula about his recent research into migration trends of high-income individuals, how pandemic-related technologies may accelerate that movement, and what challenges these changes present for policy makers.

UGA Prof. Valerie Boyd on Zora Neale Hurston, the Harlem Renaissance, & Black History Month

/
This week on “The Learning Curve," Cara and Gerard celebrate Black History Month with Professor Valerie Boyd, the Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer in Residence and Associate Professor of Journalism at the University of Georgia, and the definitive biographer of Zora Neale Hurston. Boyd discusses why Hurston is such an important novelist and cultural figure, and the influence of Hurston’s 1937 classic novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, on American literature.

New Study Finds Pandemic-Spurred Technologies Lowered Barriers to Exit in High-Cost States

Both employers and households will find it easier to leave major job centers as technologies made commonplace by the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a rethinking of the geography of work, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.

Interstate Legal Skirmish: New Hampshire Takes Massachusetts Telecommuter Tax to the Supreme Court

/
Host Joe Selvaggi talks with legal scholar and George Mason University Law Professor Ilya Somin about the details, the merits, and the likely implications of the Supreme Court case, New Hampshire v. Massachusetts, on state taxation power, federalism, and the power to vote with one’s feet.

Boston Catholic Schools Supt. Tom Carroll on National Catholic Schools Week

/
This week on “The Learning Curve," Cara and Gerard celebrate National Catholic Schools Week with Tom Carroll, superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Boston. He shares his view of the value that Catholic schools add; the reasons for their success at improving student outcomes and creating a sense of community; and their commitment to serving children from underprivileged backgrounds, regardless of religious affiliation. 

Connecticut’s Painful Journey: Wealth Squandered, Lessons Learned, Promise Explored

/
Host Joe Selvaggi talks with Connecticut Business and Industry Association’s President and CEO, Chris DiPentima, about what policy makers can learn from Connecticut’s journey from the wealthiest state in the nation, to one with more than a decade of negative job growth.

New Study Shows Significant Wealth Migration from Massachusetts to Florida, New Hampshire

Over the last 25 years, Massachusetts has consistently lost taxable income, especially to Florida and New Hampshire, via out-migration of the wealthy, according to a new Pioneer Institute study. In “Do The Wealthy Migrate Away From High-Tax States? A Comparison of Adjusted Gross Income Changes in Massachusetts and Florida,” Pioneer Institute Research Director Greg Sullivan and Research Assistant Andrew Mikula draw on IRS data showing aggregate migration flows by amount of adjusted gross income (AGI). The data show a persistent trend of wealth leaving high-tax states for low-tax ones, especially in the Sun Belt.

AZ Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick on National School Choice Week

/
This week on “The Learning Curve," Cara and Gerard kick off National School Choice Week with Arizona Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick, co-author with Kate Hardiman of a new book, Unshackled: Freeing America’s K–12 Education System. Justice Bolick shares his experiences serving on a state supreme court, and how it has shaped his understanding of America’s legal system.

New Book Offers Roadmap to Sustainability for Massachusetts Catholic Schools

Catholic schools in Massachusetts must focus on the characteristics that make them academically successful and distinguish them from traditional public schools, but must also seek new models and governance structures that will help them achieve financial sustainability, according to a new book published by Pioneer Institute. The book, "A Vision of Hope: Catholic Schooling in Massachusetts," will be the topic of a webinar co-sponsored by Pioneer and the Catholic Schools Foundation to be held on Wednesday, January 27 at 2:00 pm. 

Intrepid Restauranteurs Endure: Passion for Community, Patrons, and Staff Mean Failure is Not on the Menu

/
Host Joe Selvaggi talks with Massachusetts Restaurant Association President and CEO Bob Luz about the devastating effects of the pandemic and lockdowns on restaurants.  They discuss the industry's creative strategy for survival, plans for reaching beyond the crisis, and the many positive improvements for this vital sector that employs 10% of the workforce in the commonwealth.

Study: Massachusetts Should Embrace Direct Healthcare Options

Especially in the COVID era, many are looking to alleviate the increased burden on the healthcare system.  One solution is direct healthcare (DHC), which can provide more patient-centered care at affordable prices and is an effective model to increase access to care for the uninsured, underinsured and those on public programs like Medicaid, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.

Pulitzer Winner Taylor Branch on MLK, Civil Rights History, & Race in America

/
This week on “The Learning Curve," Cara and Gerard are joined by Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of a landmark trilogy on the Civil Rights era, America in the King Years. They discuss the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, whose birthday the nation observed on Monday. They review Dr. King’s powerful, moving oratory, drawing on spiritual and civic ideals to promote nonviolent protest against racial injustice, and how, as head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, he shared leadership of the movement with organizations such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.