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:

Grading Education in a Pandemic: Survey Finds Teachers Pass, Administrations Fail & Students Incomplete

This week on Hubwonk, Joe Selvaggi discusses a recently released survey from Pioneer Institute and Emerson Polling, "Massachusetts Residents’ Perceptions of K-12 Education During the Covid-19 Pandemic," with Emerson's lead analyst, Isabel Holloway, and Pioneer Institute’s Charlie Chieppo.

Poll Finds Mixed Views About Schools’ Pandemic Performance

A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, Massachusetts residents have mixed opinions about how K-12 education has functioned, but they tend to view the performance of individual teachers more favorably than that of institutions like school districts and teachers’ unions, according to a poll of 1,500 residents commissioned by Pioneer Institute.

Study: Systemic Failure in IDEA Implementation for Private School Students with Disabilities in Additional States

On the heels of a $3.8 million settlement for private school students with disabilities in Massachusetts for the state’s failure to comply with provisions of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that require provision of equitable, publicly funded special education services to students in private schools, a Pioneer Institute study finds that two states and three school districts around the country for which data are available also appear to be out of compliance.

BBC Classics Prof. Bettany Hughes on Athenian Democracy, Socrates, & the Goddess Aphrodite

This week on “The Learning Curve," Gerard and Cara talk with Professor Bettany Hughes, award-winning historian, BBC broadcaster, and author of the best-selling books Helen of Troy: Goddess, Princess, Whore; The Hemlock Cup: Socrates, Athens, and the Search for the Good Life; and Venus and Aphrodite: History of a Goddess. Prof. Hughes shares insights from her most recent book about the ancient deity known as Venus to Romans and Aphrodite to the Greeks, and her impact on our understanding of the mythology and history of beauty, romance, and passion.

Study: Graduated Income Tax Proposal Fails to Protect Taxpayers from Bracket Creep

The state constitutional amendment proposed by the Service Employees International Union and the Massachusetts Teachers Association to add a 4 percent surtax to all annual income above $1 million purports to use cost-of-living-based bracket adjustments as a safeguard that will ensure only millionaires will pay. But historic income growth trends suggest that bracket creep will cause many non-millionaires to be subject to the surtax over time, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.

Doctor Heal Thyself: Insider’s Prescription For Healthcare Reform

Host Joe Selvaggi talks with surgeon and New York Times bestselling author Dr. Marty Makary about the healthcare reform themes in The Price We Pay, the 2020 Business Book of the Year.  The discussion covers the value of price transparency, provider accountability, and performance information to drive better medical outcomes and improve doctor and patient satisfaction.

New Analysis: ICER Framework Ignores Patient Preferences, Innovation & Societal Benefits in Evaluating Cost-Effectiveness of New Cancer Treatments

Pioneer Institute today released a new analysis, The QALY and Cancer Treatments: An Ill-Advised Match, that examines the alarming methodological and contextual shortcomings of the Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALY)-based methodology in evaluating new cancer therapies. The Pioneer Institute analysis reveals five specific problems with ICER’s evaluation of cancer treatments and demonstrates the urgent need to prohibit the use of the QALY amid trends in rapid cancer innovations and personalized medicine.

Pioneer Institute, The Immigrant Learning Center Co-Produce New Weekly Podcast

Pioneer Institute is pleased to announce the launch of JobMakers, a new weekly podcast that explores the world of risk-taking immigrants who create new products, services, and jobs in New England and across the United States. JobMakers is produced in collaboration with The Immigrant Learning Center (ILC) of Malden, MA.

New Study Warns Graduated Income Tax Will Harm Many Massachusetts Retirees

If passed, a constitutional amendment to impose a graduated income tax would raid the retirement plans of Massachusetts residents by pushing their owners into higher tax brackets on the sales of homes and businesses, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute. The study, entitled “The Graduated Income Tax Trap: A retirement tax on small business owners,” aims to help the public fully understand the impact of the proposed new tax.

Dartmouth’s Prof. Susannah Heschel Discusses Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel & the Civil Rights Movement

This week on “The Learning Curve," Gerard and Cara talk with Dr. Susannah Heschel, the Eli M. Black Distinguished Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College, and the daughter of noted 20th-century Jewish theologian and Civil Rights-era leader, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. They discuss what teachers and students today should know about Rabbi Heschel’s life and legacy.

Travesty of Justice: Massachusetts Drug War Collapses on Lab Scandal

Joe Selvaggi talks with Pioneer Institute senior legal fellow Jim McKenna about Massachusetts’ drug prosecution cases resting on evidence produced by badly mismanaged drug testing labs, and the implications for potentially hundreds of thousands convicted on erroneous, tainted, or fabricated evidence.

Study: Graduated Income Tax Proponents Rely on Analyses That Exclude the Vast Majority Of “Millionaires” to Argue Their Case

Advocates for a state constitutional amendment that would apply a 4 percent surtax to households with annual earnings of more than $1 million rely heavily on the assumption that these proposed taxes will have little impact on the mobility of high earners. They cite analyses by Cornell University Associate Professor Cristobal Young, which exclude the vast majority of millionaires, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.

Hoover Institution’s Dr. Eric Hanushek on COVID-19, K-12 Learning Loss, & Economic Impact

/
This week on “The Learning Curve," Gerard and Cara talk with Dr. Eric Hanushek, the Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. They discuss his research, cited by The Wall Street Journal, on learning loss due to the pandemic, especially among poor, minority, and rural students, and its impact on skills and earnings.

Struggling For Sunshine: Transparency’s Power To Keep Leaders Accountable

/
Host Joe Selvaggi talks with Pioneer Institute's Mary Z. Connaughton about the value of transparency and Pioneer’s extensive work to provide greater access to legislative and policy information to hold elected officials accountable and build trust in our state government. Read Pioneer Institute's Sunshine Week Transparency Resolutions.

UK Classics Scholar Kathryn Tempest on Cicero, Brutus, & the Death of Caesar

This week on “The Learning Curve," Gerard and Cara talk with Dr. Kathryn Tempest, a Reader in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Roehampton in London, UK, and author of Cicero: Politics and Persuasion in Ancient Rome and Brutus: The Noble Conspirator. They discuss the historical, civic, and moral lessons political leaders, educators, and schoolchildren today can learn by studying the Roman Republic and the lives of key figures from that era such as Cicero and Brutus.

Traffic Strikes Back: New Transportation Strategies for Post-Pandemic Prosperity

Host Joe Selvaggi talks with Chris Dempsey, Director of Transportation for Massachusetts, about road and mass transit innovations that could address traffic challenges in a high-growth, post-pandemic economy.

Report Contrasts State Government and Private Sector Employment Changes During Pandemic

Massachusetts state government employment has been virtually flat during COVID-19 even as employment in the state’s private sector workforce remains nearly 10 percent below pre-pandemic levels, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute. The study, “Public vs. Private Employment in Massachusetts: A Tale of Two Pandemics,” questions whether it makes sense to shield public agencies from last year’s recession at the expense of taxpayers.

Best-Selling, Netflix Author Loung Ung On Surviving Pol Pot’s Killing Fields

/
This week on “The Learning Curve," Gerard and Cara talk with Loung Ung, a human-rights activist; the author of the bestselling books First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers, Lucky Child, and Lulu in the Sky; and a co-screenwriter of the 2017 Netflix Original Movie, First They Killed My Father. Ms. Ung shares her experiences living through genocide under Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge from 1975 to 1979, which resulted in the deaths of nearly a quarter of Cambodia's population. 

Study Finds Massachusetts Graduated Income Tax May Be a “Blank Check” and Not Increase Funding for Designated Priorities

Advocates claim a proposed 4 percent surtax on high earners will raise nearly $2 billion per year for education and transportation, but similar tax hikes in other states resulted in highly discretionary rather than targeted spending, according to a new policy brief published by Pioneer Institute. That same result or worse is possible in Massachusetts because during the 2019 constitutional convention state legislators rejected — not just one, but two — proposed amendments requiring that the new revenues be directed to these purposes.

Post-Pandemic Prospects: Tech Leaders’ Prescription for Preserving a Healthy Economy

/
Host Joe Selvaggi talks with Chris Anderson, President of the Massachusetts High Technology Council, about the reasons why Massachusetts has a thriving tech sector, what challenges his members have faced in the pandemic, and what he sees as the most prudent path toward future prosperity in the commonwealth.