Ben Forman Research Director, MassINC

Benjamin Forman is MassINC’s research director. He coordinates the development of the organization’s research agenda and oversees production of research reports. Ben has authored a number of MassINC publications and he speaks frequently to organizations and media across Massachusetts. With a background in urban revitalization and sustainable growth and development, he is uniquely suited to the organization’s focus on strong communities and economic security.

Prior to joining MassINC in 2008, Ben oversaw strategic planning for the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation, a large agency providing critical services to youth and families in neighborhoods throughout the city. He also worked as a research assistant at the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program in Washington, DC and Nathan Associates, a global economic development consulting firm.

As a graduate student, Ben was awarded a Rappaport Public Policy Fellowship and served in the City of New Bedford’s planning department. He also worked as a graduate research assistant on a multi-year longitudinal analysis measuring the impact of new information technologies on neighborhood social networks.

Ben graduated from Trinity College, Hartford in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. In 2004, he completed his master’s degree in city planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He lives in Boston with his wife Anne and two daughters, Eloise and Cecily.

ARTICLES By Ben Forman

Local Accountability

The Forgotten Element in Education Reform

Prepared in partnership with the Center for Assessment, this novel paper is a first attempt to define the purpose and principles of “local accountability” practices that complement state and federal accountability frameworks. The conceptual frame in a series of three reports, The Forgotten Element in Education Reform explores the shifting balance of responsibility for monitoring

Please Support Gateway City Legislative Leaders

Your advocacy can make a difference

Dear Friends: In the final days of this Legislative session, two items hang in the balance that have great importance to Gateway City economic development efforts. The first is the Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP). After years of advocacy by Gateway Cities mayors, this market-rate housing production tool is finally doing exactly what it was

Revisiting Correctional Expenditure Trends in Massachusetts

MassINC is proud to present another installment in our “Justice Reinvestment At-A-Glance” research brief series. Revisiting Correctional Expenditure Trends in Massachusetts updates our 2017 report, Getting Tough on Spending. Our new analysis incorporates final expenditures through FY 2017, and projects outward using the House and Senate Ways and Means FY 2019 budget proposals. We hope

The Promise and Potential of Transformative Transit-Oriented Development in Gateway Cities

Gateway Cities can accommodate thousands of new housing units and thousands of new jobs on the vacant and underutilized land surrounding their commuter rail stations. This walkable, mixed-use urban land offers an ideal setting for transit-oriented development (TOD) to take hold. Currently, Gateway City commuter rail stations get minimal ridership from downtown neighborhoods and few

Generating more geographically-balanced growth

Connecting Gateway Cities with Boston’s Job Cluster

Gateway Cities like Brockton, Lynn, and Worcester can play an important function generating more geographically-balanced growth throughout Massachusetts. These communities all have strong transit connections to Boston, which positions them to tap the hub’s valuable assets, including its major research institutions, sophisticated service providers, skilled-workforce, and global connections. As regional centers, the economic activity they

Improving College & Career Outcomes through Research-Practice Partnerships

A Case Study of ILP Implementation in Three Gateway City School Districts

Public schools are under pressure to close wide opportunity and achievement gaps so that disadvantaged students can compete for jobs in today’s knowledge economy on an equal footing. While the resources to accomplish this important work are often limited, advances in education technology, data availability, and research methods can help schools get more learning out

Education policy forum highlights power of RPP model in Gateway Cities

Shedding new light on effective practice

Education leaders and policymakers gathered in downtown Boston to hear about early efforts to build research-practice partnerships (RPPs) through the Massachusetts Institute of College and Career Readiness(MICCR), a collaborative effort led by the Rennie Center, Boston University, and MassINC, with support from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). MICCR paired researchers up with 14 participating

The Geography of Incarceration in a Gateway City

The Cost and Consequences of High Incarceration Rate Neighborhoods in Worcester

In 2016, MassINC and the Boston Indicators Project issued a report detailing the geography of incarceration in Boston. Utilizing new data provided by the Worcester County Sheriff’s Department, this report extends that line of research by examining incarceration in a Gateway City. The analysis explores the cost and consequences of high incarceration rates in Worcester

Ben Forman offers testimony to Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on the Judiciary

In support of "An Act Implementing the Joint Recommendations of the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Review"

TESTIMONY REGARDING H. 74 “AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE JOINT RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE MASSACHUSETTS CRIMINAL JUSTICE REVIEW” PROVIDED TO THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY JUNE 19, 2017 Benjamin Forman MassINC Thank you Chairwoman Cronin, Chairman Brownsberger, and members of the committee for the opportunity to provide testimony on An Act Implementing the Joint Recommendations of

Fact-checking the district attorneys

MassINC researchers review mandatory minimum claims

AT MONDAY’S JUDICIARY COMMITTEE HEARING on criminal justice reform legislation, District Attorneys Joseph Early of Worcester County, Timothy Cruz of Plymouth County, and Michael Morrissey of Norfolk County testified in opposition to the elimination of mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes. Their testimony drew heavily on talking points prepared by the Massachusetts District Attorney’s Association

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