The Somerville Housing Authority Board of Commissioners recently appointed Diane Cohen as Executive Director. Cohen will replace outgoing director Joe Macaluso who held the position since 1996.

Diane Cohen’s career spans more than 30 years of progressive leadership in administrative roles for housing agencies. She has been at the SHA for the past year but previously served for 22 years as Deputy Director for the Chelsea Housing Authority.

Among previous roles, Cohen worked at Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership and served as Executive Director of the Burlington Housing Authority. She was appointed as a commissioner to the Reading Housing Authority by former Governor Mitt Romney in 2004. Cohen has earned many distinctive service awards from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO), currently serving as Vice Chair of Professional Development Committee, and on its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Advisory Committee. In addition, she serves as Treasurer for the New England Regional Council National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials and is a member of the Massachusetts NAHRO Insurance Group.

Cohen says she is looking forward to working with the talented staff and wonderful residents of the Authority. ‘Our mission is to deliver safe affordable housing opportunities for our residents while continuing to find ways to bring new permanently affordable units to Somerville residents.”

SHA Board chairman Joe Capuano congratulated Diane and thanked the Board for their deliberative search process. Capuano stated “we appreciate the transparency of the public search process conducted by executive director search firm, D & V Mainsail. We are also grateful for the participation of our residents that aided in the selection.”

Governor Healy’s Secretary of Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities, Edward M. Augustus, Jr., approved the search process, recruitment and terms of the employment contract between the SHA and Cohen to ensure the state’s guidelines were followed. She assumed her new role effective November 13, 2023.

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