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November 30, 2023

Portland hires housing and economic development director with Massachusetts experience

The city of Portland has appointed Gregory Watson to lead its Housing & Economic Development Department.

Watson has management experience in urban planning and affordable housing for mid-sized cities and state government. He spent 25 years working as an urban planner, managing statewide planning and affordable housing development and finance programs. 

“Greg brings a wealth of experience in working with communities at the state and local level on creating affordable housing and community economic development projects,” said Portland City Manager Danielle West.

Courtesy / LinkedIn
Gregory Watson

He most recently managed the origination department within MassHousing, a quasi-public agency that finances affordable housing in Massachusetts. Prior to his 15 years of work there, he was the director of community development and planning for the town of Watertown, Mass. He also previously served in community development and planning roles for the Massachusetts cities of Malden and Peabody. 

Duties for the head of Portland Housing and Economic Development Department include setting the city’s strategy for recruiting and retaining businesses, developing the city’s marketing plan, and managing the grants that fund Portland’s housing and community development programs.

Watson, who holds a master’s degree in public administration from Clemson University, has been a Portland resident since 2020, the announcement said. His salary will be just under $140,000.

“I am humbled by the challenge this position represents to engage with community leaders and partners in addressing issues that contribute to creating places of opportunity where everyone can live and work with dignity while participating in and benefitting from our city’s economy,” said Watson.

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