Research Staff / Faculty
Kenneth Reeves

Kenneth Errol Reeves is a graduate of Harvard College, attended University of Michigan Law School, and became a Cambridge elected official in 1990. He is the first Black mayor in Massachusetts and the first openly gay Black mayor in the United States. An attorney by profession, he served the people of Cambridge for twenty-four years as Mayor, Vice Mayor, City Councilor, and Chair of the Cambridge School Committee.

Ken’s professional and political careers have been characterized by excellence, trailblazing, and by getting needed things done. He has exhibited a remarkable ability to see problem areas and to attempt to create solutions. He likes to assemble smart teams to work together to find solutions.

As an elected official he has distinguished himself as a champion o the City of Cambridge working tirelessly to improve the quality of life for Cambridge citizens. He has created initiatives to make area studies as well as to address jobs, housing, youth, and elder needs. He championed the new Main Library project, the new Senior Center, the total renovation of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, the purchase of the Dance Complex, and individual area studies for Central Square and Kendall Square. Ken has been a particular catalyst for relationships between Harvard and MIT and the City.

Ken knows from abolitionist Fredric Douglas that “where there is no struggle, there is no progress”. When he came to City Hall there were no minority department heads and very few women in key decision making positions. During his tenure this changed dramatically such that the city has had two Black police commissioners as well as a female Deputy City Manager who was also the first female to head the Department of Public Works. Furthermore, Ken played a pivotal role in the selection of the current City Manager, Richard Rossi.

Ken very much enjoys the “bump and mingle” culture of the emerging bio and tech community and is interested in helping this world join itself to the neighborhoods and to civic life in Cambridge. He welcomes the opportunity to provide introductions and connections between technology and community. Ken is an absolute drum major for serious public education with science and math in a dosage which will prepare Cambridge students for the future.