Board of Trustees

Cambridge Health Alliance is governed by a Board of Trustees appointed by the City Manager of Cambridge, MA. Members volunteer their time and expertise to further the mission, vision, and values of Cambridge Health Alliance.

  • William Lahey

    William LaheyChair

    Bill Lahey is a Cambridge resident and has served on the CHA Board since 2016. He recently retired from the full time practice of law after a 40 year career as environmental and energy lawyer handling matters across the country and internationally. He published numerous law review articles and is regularly recognized as a leading lawyer by various national publications. He was a partner at Palmer & Dodge and Anderson & Kreiger where he is currently Senior Counsel.

    Bill serves on the boards of several other organizations, including the Boston Rescue Mission, one of the oldest homeless shelters in the United States, and Oceana Action, a national advocacy organization focusing on marine protection and climate change. He was also the founding board chair of a Roxbury charter school and served on the board for the National Alliance for Mental Illness Massachusetts.

    Bill received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin and his Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin Law School.

  • Claire Laporte

    Vice Chair

    Claire Laporte

    Claire Laporte is Head of Intellectual Property at Ginkgo Bioworks. She provides strategic oversight of Ginkgo's patent portfolio, trade secrets, and other intellectual property while supporting Ginkgo's business objectives in connection with IP matters.

    Before joining Ginkgo, Claire served the life science industry in private practice at Foley Hoag LLP. During her time at Foley Hoag, Claire handled many patent and trade secret cases relating to a broad range of life science technologies. She also leveraged her litigation experience to represent clients in mergers, acquisitions, licenses, collaborations, and other matters.

    Representative litigation cases include a trial in which Claire obtained a verdict of willful infringement against a major medical device company and another in which Claire convinced a tribunal to invalidate two biotechnology patents in a case concerning genetically modified E. coli for production of lysine. Claire also handled appellate matters relating to intellectual property.

    During her time at Foley Hoag, Claire maintained an extensive pro bono practice, focusing on civil rights and domestic violence cases. Most recently, Claire served as co-counsel for the plaintiffs in a case challenging President Trump's ban on military service by transgender people.

    Claire serves on several non-profit boards, including Cambridge Health Alliance and the Handel & Haydn Society. 

  • Danielle Allen

    Danielle Allen portraitDanielle Allen is a professor of public policy, politics, and ethics at Harvard University, Director of the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Ethics, and James Bryant Conant University Professor, one of Harvard’s highest honors. She is also a seasoned nonprofit leader, democracy advocate, national voice on pandemic response, distinguished author, and mom. Danielle’s work to make the world better for young people has taken her from teaching college and leading a $60 million university division to driving change at the helm of a $6 billion foundation, writing for the Washington Post, advocating for cannabis legalization, democracy reform, and civic education, and most recently, to running for governor of Massachusetts. During the height of COVID in 2020, Danielle’s leadership in rallying coalitions and building solutions resulted in the country’s first-ever Roadmap to Pandemic Resilience; her policies were adopted in federal legislation and a Biden executive order. Danielle made history as the first Black woman ever to run for statewide office in Massachusetts. She continues to advocate for democracy reform to create greater voice and access in our democracy, and drive progress towards a new social contract that serves and includes us all.

  • Jessica Eshleman

    Portrait of Jessica EshelmanJessica Eshleman is a Somerville resident with over 20 years of experience connecting people with ideas, places, and opportunities. As Union Square Main Street's executive director, a role she's held since 2018, she serves a rapidly developing business district where 200 minority-owned and independent businesses charge her passion for economic empowerment, inclusive public spaces, and enhancing equitable opportunity in urban neighborhoods.

    With an emphasis on advancing cross-sector, strategic partnerships that engage a spectrum of stakeholders, Jessica has served on the boards of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce, Concord 2020, the Hunt Memorial Building, and Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum. She has also led its first strategic planning process as the chair of New Hampshire's Concord Young Professional Network.

    Jessica earned her BA from Franklin Pierce University and her Master's in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School. In 2016, she completed a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, and in 2017, she achieved her quest to summit New England's Hundred Highest peaks.

  • Joseph Curtatone

    Joseph Curtatone portraitIn January, 2022, Joe Curtatone became the President of the Northeast Clean Energy Council (NECEC) and a Senior Practice Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. Prior to starting his new roles, he served nine terms (18 years) as Mayor of Somerville, Massachusetts (the City's longest serving Mayor) where he earned a reputation for being one of the most innovative mayors in the United States. Prior to being sworn in as Mayor in January 2004, Curtatone served for eight years as an Alderman-at-Large and as an attorney in private practice.

    As Mayor, he implemented a wide range of reforms and new programs that earned both him and the City widespread recognition, including being named “the best-run city in Massachusetts” by the Boston Globe, an “All-America City” by the National Civic League twice, and among the “100 Best Communities for Youth” by America’s Promise Alliance. During his time in office Somerville developed a comprehensive net zero climate action plan, experienced housing and job booms by redeveloping former industrial districts, spearheaded the first major expansion of Boston's core rail transit system in a generation and launched the national healthy cities initiative. Somerville consistently tops lists of the “Most Walkable” and “Most Bikeable” cities in the United States. Mayor Curtatone has become a national leader in the system of better management through measurement. Delegations from other Massachusetts communities – and from cities as far away as Ireland and Korea – regularly visited Somerville for briefings on the city’s SomerStat program, a data-driven performance management system modeled on Baltimore’s CitiSTAT initiative.

    A 1984 graduate of Somerville High School, he earned his Bachelor degree (B.A.) from Boston College in 1990, a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the New England School of Law in 1994, and a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2011.

    He has also volunteered as a football coach at Somerville High School, Somerville Little League, and Somerville Youth Hockey.

  • Jim Henderson

    Jim HendersonMr. Henderson is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College where presidential historian, Doris Kearns Goodwin, was one of his senior honors thesis advisers. Cornel West, Harvard and Princeton professor, was his classmate and someone with whom he had wonderful late-night debates about matters which now make Cornel a national treasure. Between college and law school, he was a Research Assistant at Harvard’s Kennedy Institute of Politics and a paralegal at WGBH. He’s a cum laude graduate of Boston College Law School. After law school, he moved to Connecticut where he was an in-house counsel to two Fortune 120 companies. He also was an Adjunct Professor in Business Law for seven years at Quinnipiac College School of Law.

    Jim is an Everett resident and lives a few blocks away from CHA Everett Hospital. He served on the Everett Planning Board and the School Building Commission. He also applied his law skills as Human Resources Director for three Everett mayor’s, including current Mayor Carlo DeMaria. His HR office administered the City’s Health Insurance Benefits for City of Everett workers, teachers, firefighters, police officers and retirees.

    He left the City of Everett HR to become Employee Engagement Manager for MassDOT and the MBTA, where improving operational processes and change management, customer service and diversity training were important aspects of his duties. Afterward, he became HR Director for the Massachusetts Department of Capital Assets Management & Maintenance. Jim is now principal in an Everett-based sole proprietorship which provides business law advice to select clients and non-legal consulting advice in general.

  • David Kale

    David KaleDavid Kale is the Assistant City Manager for Fiscal Affairs and Treasurer/Collector for the City Cambridge, a role he has held since 2017. Mr. Kale previously served as Town Administrator for the Town of Belmont from 2012-2017, Deputy Finance Director/Budget Director for the City of Cambridge from 2003 through 2012, Chief Financial Officer for the Arlington Public Schools from 2001-2003 and as Director of Financial Services, Manager of Financial Services and Manager of Financial Operations for the Cambridge Public Schools between 1988-2001. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics and a master's degree in business administration from Suffolk University.

  • Katharine Kosinski, MD

    Katherine KosinskiKatharine Kosinski, MD, is a Cambridge, MA, resident who worked at CHA for more than 25 years, most recently as Chief of Pathology. Under her leadership, the CHA laboratory grew from one location to a three-site laboratory with timely and high quality services, successfully passing 13 College of American Pathologist inspections with full accreditation. During her tenure, she also served on the Joint Hospital Board, the CHA Medical Executive Committee, Patient Care Improvement Committee, Medical Quality Assurance Board, Credentials Review Committee, and the Hospital Board Quality Committee.

  • Lori Lander

    Lori LanderLori Lander is a community activist and volunteer. She co-founded Many Helping Hands 365, a civic engagement non-profit that organizes many events, including the annual Martin Luther King Day of Service, a community and public health driven gun buy-back program, and provides safe and ongoing community forums on important issues. Lori is also an accomplished artist. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Cambridge Arts Council and on the Board of Trustees of the Cambridge Community Foundation. Lori received her Juris Doctorate from University of Miami School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University.

  • Jane Licurse

    Board of Trustees Board Member Jane LicurseJane Licurse is the Strategic Advisor to Cambridge’s City Manager, Yi-An Huang. She leads the City's strategic planning on high priority initiatives across departments. She previously served as Executive Director of Strategy and Chief of Staff to Boston Medical Center Health System's EVP (currently CEO). Before that she served healthcare clients as a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Company.

    Jane received her MBA from Harvard Business School and BA and MS from Brown University in Biomedical Engineering.

  • Benjamin Milligan, MD, FACEP

    Benjamin Milligan, MDBenjamin Milligan, MD, FACEP is chief of emergency medicine at Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA). CHA's Department of Emergency Medicine serves nearly 100,000 patients annually at the Cambridge and Everett Emergency Departments as well as the Urgent Care located at the CHA Somerville campus.

    Dr. Milligan is also an assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Prior to joining CHA, Dr. Milligan was a clinical instructor in Emergency Medicine at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University and an attending emergency medicine physician at the Miriam Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island.

    He received his medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College (Cornell University) and completed his Emergency Medicine Residency at New York University/Bellevue Hospital Center.

  • Paula Paris

    Paula ParisPaula Paris joined JFYNetWorks in 1995 as the director of development, where she has contributed to the growth and diversification of the funding portfolio. She was named Deputy Director in 2003 and has since led the organization through outcomes measurement, social enterprise development, and other strategic initiatives. Paula has prior experience in commercial banking, fundraising in education and the arts, and public policy research in workforce development. She has been an adjunct faculty member of Southern New Hampshire University’s School of Community Economic Development. Ms. Paris earned a Master of Management degree from the Heller School of Management and Social Policy at Brandeis University, where she is a member of the Board of Overseers, and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Hartford’s Hartt School. Ms. Paris also served on the Cambridge Health Alliance Board of Trustees from 2007‐2016.

  • Assaad Sayah, MD, FACEP

    Assaad Sayah, MDAssaad Sayah, MD, was named CHA's Chief Executive Officer in January 2020. Dr. Sayah, the health system's chief medical officer, served as the interim CEO since June 2019. He previously served as Chief Medical Officer since 2013 and was Chief of Emergency Medicine and Senior Vice President of Primary Care at CHA

    Dr. Sayah's leadership has been a critical component of CHA's growth and success over the past decade. Before being named the chief medical officer, he served as the chief of emergency medicine and senior vice president of primary care. In the Emergency Department, Dr. Sayah led tremendous advancements at all three CHA hospitals, resulting in enhanced efficiency, quality, volume and patient satisfaction. He spearheaded primary care growth by more than 50 percent, expanding CHA's access in underserved communities and integrating primary care and behavioral health services and systems to address social determinants of health. He also plays a key role in CHA's commitment to the communities it serves, including his tenure as the co-chair of the Cambridge City Manager's Opioid Working Group established in 2018 to develop recommendations for strengthening the city's response to the opioid epidemic.

    Additionally, Dr. Sayah served as chairman of CHA's Chiefs Council and president of the CHA Medical Staff, and he continues to serve on the faculty at Harvard Medical School. His research and publications focus on Emergency Department operation and emergency medical services, including design of the EMS system, continuous quality improvement, advanced directives, violence and weapons, disaster planning and pre-hospital thrombolytics.

    Prior to joining CHA, Dr. Sayah held leadership roles at several area hospitals, including director of EMS for Brigham and Women's Hospital, associate chief for the Department of Emergency Medicine at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center and chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Caritas Good Samaritan Medical Center. He received his medical doctorate from the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and completed his residency in emergency medicine at William Beaumont Hospital in Michigan. 

  • Ellen Semonoff

    Ellen SemenoffEllen Semonoff has served as the Assistant City Manager for Human Services for the City of Cambridge since 2004. Her responsibilities include leadership and day-to-day management of City’s Human Services Department, including child care and family support programs, community and youth programs, services for homeless residents, workforce development programs, adult basic education programs, recreation programs, fuel assistance and summer nutrition programs, services to and programs for seniors and disabled residents. The Department has over 600 full and part time employees and a budget of over 40 million dollars in city, state and federal funds. The Department plays a convening role in numerous community collaborations. Prior to assuming her position as Assistant City Manager, Ms. Semonoff held several other positions for the City of Cambridge. She spent several years in Washington D.C., serving as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Joseph A. Califano and as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

  • Michael Shear, MD

    Dr. Shear is an Emergency Medicine trained physician who currently works at Harvard University Health Services. Prior to Harvard University Health Services, Dr. Shear was an attending physician at Emerson Hospital (Concord, MA), Mount Auburn Hospital (Cambridge, MA), and Lahey Clinic Medical Center (Burlington, MA).

    Dr. Shear has extensive medical relief work experience in Micronesia with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in Haiti through the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and in Haiti with the International Medical Corps. Dr. Shear also practiced two years in Nepal

    Since 1994, Dr. Shear has served as a physician member in the Commonwealth’s medical tribunals for the review of malpractice claims.

    Dr. Shear received his medical doctorate (MD) from the University of California School of Medicine in San Francisco, completed his post-doctoral residency in Internal Medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and received his bachelor of arts (BA) from Harvard College.

  • Bryan Simmons

    Bryan SimmonsBryan has more than 30 years of global experience in communications, brand management, and integrated marketing campaign development. He began his career at Strayton Advertising and Public Relations (later the Advanced Technology Division of Hill & Knowlton). Bryan held a number of executive positions in marketing and communications at Lotus Development Corporation and IBM Corp., including vice president, IBM Americas, vice president of Global Industry Communications, and vice president of Marketing, IBM Lotus Software. He has served on the boards of Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, ACLU Massachusetts, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, and Primary Care Progress. Bryan earned a bachelor’s degree in European History from Harvard College in Cambridge, MA.

  • Rae Simpson

    Rae SimpsonA mental health advocate and writer, Rae specializes in public understanding of serious mental health conditions. Her recent, grant-funded advocacy initiatives have focused on improving messaging about mental health conditions, working with organizations such as the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health, the Boston Museum of Science, and the FrameWorks Institute. She currently serves on the board of the Cambridge affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

    Holding a PhD in communication research from Stanford University, Rae served on the faculty at MIT for 11 years and senior staff for 25 years. She created and directed MIT's first undergraduate and graduate science journalism programs, then MIT's first family resource center. She also served as a consultant to the World Health Organization, United Nations, CBS, WGBH, Harvard's Center for Health Communication, and others, and founded the National Parenting Education Network. Rae has given over a hundred presentations in the US and abroad, and published over 50 books, book chapters, and journal articles, as well as popular articles in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Psychology Today, Cognoscenti, and elsewhere.

  • Maxwell (Mike) Solet

    Maxwell SoletMike Solet is a long-time resident of Cambridge who has served on several local boards, including as a board member and vice-president of the Cambridge Historical Society, as a current member of the board of the Brattle Film Foundation, and a previous term on the CHA board from 2005 to 2016. Mike is an attorney who, until his retirement, was a member of the firm Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. He specialized in tax law issues related to borrowings by State and local governments and charitable organizations, serving as bond counsel to, among others, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the MBTA, and various student loan agencies. On behalf of an agency of the State of New York, he obtained a ruling from the Internal Revenue Service which facilitated the post-9/11 reconstruction of lower Manhattan and gave opinions on bonds with respect to the World Trade Center. Mike chaired the IRS Advisory Committee on Tax-Exempt and Government Entities, authoring several reports related to issuance of tax-exempt debt. He also represented corporate clients in connection with state tax disputes, including litigation before the Massachusetts Appeals Court, the Supreme Judicial Court, and the United States Supreme Court. Mike most recently provided pro bono counsel through Health Law Advocates, a public interest law firm committed to ensuring universal access to quality health care in Massachusetts. Mike earned an AB from Harvard College and his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.

  • Yvette Verdieu

    Yvette VerdieuYvette Verdieu (Somerville, term ends 6/30/2021, eligible for reappointment) is a Somerville resident who has served on many boards and committees, including the City of Somerville Human Rights Commission Executive Board, the Somerville Community Corporation Executive Board, and the East Somerville Neighborhood For Change. She is an advocate for new immigrants and ensuring that their voices and concerns are heard. She was named the Community Unsung Heroine by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women in 2008. She currently serves as a manager analyst in the certificates unit at the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. She received her Bachelor of Science in Management Studies, Diversity in Work place certificate, and her Master of Management from Cambridge College.

Emeritus Trustees

  • Thomas Bent
  • David Bor, MD
  • Eugene Brune
  • Jack Burke, MD
  • Nancy Busnach
  • Mary Cassesso
  • Melvin Chalfen, MD
  • Audrey Cunningham
  • Louis DePasquale
  • Elaine DeRosa
  • Ruth Faris
  • Mary Ann Hart, RN
  • William Hart
  • Lucian Leape, MD
  • Isaac Machado
  • Steve Manos
  • Kathleen McGilvray
  • Jane Metzger
  • Pearl Morrison
  • Jonathan Stearns
  • Carol Van Deusen Lukas
  • Debbie Klein Walker
  • Ronald Weintraub, MD
  • Cathy Wirth
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