Chief of Economic Development
Betsy Cowan joined MAPC in 2018 and leads the Economic Development Division. Her work focuses on building the economic development capacity of local communities and the region as a whole, with economic equity as a key priority. Betsy helps inform the agency’s legislative priorities at the state and federal level and manages the provision of technical assistance to municipalities at the local level.
Betsy and her team partner with cities and towns to conduct market analyses; design economic development plans and Master Plans in partnership with other MAPC divisions; and implement strategies to promote smart growth objectives. Betsy and her team are also building the work of MAPC in the areas of workforce development and small business development.
Prior to joining MAPC, Betsy worked at the Office of Economic Development at the City of Boston, leading the small business technical assistance program and advising on small business policy and programming decisions. Her work included the design of assistance tools and initiatives for over 3,000 businesses annually and the development of the City of Boston Small Business Plan, a 5-year strategic plan for the City and its partners to serve the 40,000 businesses in Boston.
Before working for the City of Boston, Betsy was the Executive Director of Egleston Square Main Street, an organization dedicated to revitalizing the commercial corridor in the Egleston Square neighborhood of Boston. Her work in Egleston built on her years of experience in community economic development and microfinance in Ecuador, Peru, and Chile.
Betsy Cowan holds a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School, a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from the Universidad de Chile, and a Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility from Universidad Alberto Hurtado in Chile. She is also a trained English-Spanish interpreter and translator and is trained in mediation/conflict resolution techniques.
Areas of Expertise: Small business development; licensing, permitting and zoning; community engagement; microfinance and community economic development strategies and mediation/conflict resolution.