Governor Charlie Baker, the Honorable Karen E. Spilka, the Honorable Ronald J. Mariano, Mary Skelton Roberts, Vivien Li, and David Lee honored for their contributions in the areas of the environment, transportation, city building, and land use.



A Better City honored this year's Norman B. Leventhal Excellence in City Building awardees who have significantly enhanced Boston and the region. Honorees include Vivien Li, past President of The Boston Harbor Association, M. David Lee, President of Stull and Lee, Inc., Mary Skelton Roberts, Senior Vice President Programs at the Energy Foundation, Governor Charlie Baker, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Senate President Karen E. Spilka, Senate President of the Massachusetts State Senate, and Speaker Ronald J. Mariano, Speaker of the House of the Massachusetts House of Representatives.
“We are thrilled to recognize the work and honor the accomplishments of each of our honorees – on behalf of A Better City’s members, we thank them for their continued work and dedication to the betterment of our city and region,” said Richard A. Dimino, A Better City President and CEO. “Their contributions as leaders to our region have delivered long term impacts and measurable quality of life improvements that make Boston and Massachusetts better, more equitable places to live, work, and enjoy.”
“Each honoree embodies and honors the legacy of A Better City’s founder, Norman B. Leventhal through their contributions to our civic life,” said Douglas M. McGarrah, A Better City Chair. “We are all beneficiaries of his service and devotion to making Boston a better city, and each of the awardees continue this legacy of service today.”
This year, the Norman B. Leventhal awards were hosted in person at the Boston Harbor Hotel, after going virtual in 2020 during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. The event was also live-streamed.
Vivien Li, Past President of The Boston Harbor Association, is being honored for leadership in city building. During her tenure at the Boston Harbor Association, now known as Boston Harbor Now, Li championed waterfront resiliency, accessibility, and revitalization, catalyzing the completion of Boston’s 41-mile HarborWalk system. Li also chaired the Boston Conservation Commission, initiated the first Boston Harbor Sea Level Rise Forum in 2010, and co-chaired the advisory committee for the City of Boston’s 2014 Climate Action Plan. Today, Li continues to work as a frequent speaker on waterfront development and climate resilience and serves on the Boston Municipal Lobbying Compliance Commission.
M. David Lee, President and Managing Partner of Stull and Lee, Inc., is being honored for leadership in land use. Lee has made a lasting impact on the city of Boston through his vision and work to center community engagement in the design and development of mixed-use, healthcare and educational institutions, office buildings, as well as infrastructure, and transit facilities. He has shaped transformative projects, including the celebrated Southwest Corridor Park and adjacent Ruggles Station, Roxbury Community College, and Boston Public Headquarters. Lee is a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects and is a past President of the Boston Society of Architects. He was also formerly on the Design Arts Overview Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts. Lee continues sharing his knowledge of urban design and architecture through lecturing and consulting on the national and international level.
Mary Skelton Roberts, Senior Vice President of Programs of the Energy Foundation, is being honored for leadership in transportation. Skelton Roberts has improved our region’s transportation system and air quality through unprecedented coalition building and dynamic stakeholder engagement. She was a member of the Barr Foundation’s climate team from 2009 to 2021, ultimately serving as Co-Director of Climate and leveraging the foundation’s resources to help shape a more accessible, connected, and resilient transportation system for all. Skelton Roberts also helped lead the City of Boston’s Go Boston 2030 transportation planning process and helped catalyze the City of Boston’s Climate Ready Boston to prepare for the long-term impacts of climate change. In her current role at The Energy Foundation, she is focused on delivering clean energy solutions to the public.  She also has an extensive background working with nonprofit, government, and private sector clients to resolve complex environmental and public-policy issues.
Governor Charlie Baker, Senate President Karen E. Spilka, and Speaker Ronald J. Mariano are being honored for their leadership on the environment. Governor Baker, Senate President Spilka, and Speaker Mariano worked together to develop and enact An Act Creating a Next Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy, a landmark law designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, expand clean energy, and uplift environmental justice communities. While each of these leaders has built a distinguished career in climate leadership and public service worthy of standalone acknowledgment, this award recognizes their collaborative efforts to position Massachusetts as a national leader in the fight to combat climate change and to build a clean economy for the future. Governor Baker is the 72nd Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Senate President Spilka represents the MetroWest communities of the 2nd Middlesex and Norfolk district that includes Ashland, Framingham, Franklin, Holliston, Hopkinton, Medway, and Natick. Speaker Mariano represents the 3rd  Norfolk District that includes Quincy, Weymouth, and Holbrook.
The full Norman B. Leventhal Excellence in City Building Awards program can be viewed here.  

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