State House News Service

Former MBTA Chief Glynn Tapped To Lead Massport

BOSTON — The lengthy search for a new chief executive of the Massachusetts Port Authority has narrowed in on former health care executive and MBTA chief Thomas Glynn, according to multiple sources.

Glynn, who spent 14 years working as the chief operating officer of Partners HealthCare, will be presented to the Massport board of directors for confirmation after a nationwide search that took over a year following the retirement of CEO Thomas Kinton on June 1, 2011, a Patrick administration source confirmed Wednesday night.

A second administration official described Glynn’s hiring as “not a done deal yet,” but suggested the process was close to completion. The Massport board meets next on Sept. 20.

Glynn did not respond to an email Wednesday night seeking comment, neither did Transportation Secretary Richard Davey, who serves on the seven-member Massport board. The search is being overseen by a committee of the board chaired by director Michael Angelini and assisted by an executive search firm.

Glynn, a lecturer in public policy at Harvard University’s Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy, left the state’s largest hospital network in 2010 after serving as chief operating officer at Partners since 2002. His resume includes a number of state and federal posts, including time as deputy commissioner of public welfare under former Gov. Michael Dukakis.

Dukakis appointed Glynn in 1989 to become general manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, succeeding James O’Leary in that position. “I finally have a job that I can explain in one effective sentence to my kids. That sentence is to help make the trains and buses run safe, clean and on time,” Glynn said at the time.

If confirmed, Glynn would take over a $500 million operation at Massport, the quasi-public agency that owns and operates Logan International Airport, the public container and cruise terminals in the Port of Boston, Hanscom Field, Worcester Regional Airport as well as real estate holdings and public parks in South Boston and East Boston.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is also in the process of considering a transfer of state-owned piers and commuter ferry operations to Massport to relieve budget pressure on the MBTA. Massport is funded almost entirely through federal funds and user fees.

Glynn has also served as deputy secretary of labor under former President William Clinton, as senior vice president of finance and administration at Brown University and in the administration of former President Jimmy Carter as executive director of the vice president’s Task Force on Youth Employment.

Glynn, of Belmont, is currently a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. He has an undergraduate degree from Tufts University and doctorate degree from Brandeis University.

David Mackey, chief legal counsel at Massport, has been serving as interim CEO since Kinton stepped down in June 2011. Kinton was one of the highest-paid officials in the state at the time of his retirement earning $295,000 a year in his job.

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