Biden Picks Former Massachusetts State Rep For Regional HUD Post

Printed from:

By Colin Young
State House News Service

Juana Matias, a former state representative and the chief operating officer of Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth (MassINC), is on the move again, this time bound for federal government service.

President Joe Biden on Thursday tapped Matias, who represented Lawrence in the Massachusetts House for the 2017-2018 session, to serve as the New England regional administrator of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In the post, Matias will “play a key role in leading assignments of housing assistance funds within the region” and will oversee the HUD offices in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, the White House said.

Matias has been leading MassINC as its chief operating officer since January 2019, after she gave up her seat in the Massachusetts House to run for Congress. Matias won her home city of Lawrence by a wide margin but finished fourth in a 10-way Democratic primary. She said she was the first Latina to run for Congress in Massachusetts.

Before being elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Matias worked as a social worker in the Merrimack Valley and then sought humanitarian-based immigration relief for unaccompanied children in removal proceedings as a legal advocate in the AmeriCorps program, according to her MassInc bio. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2009 and from Suffolk University Law School in 2014.

Matias is poised to add to the Massachusetts House’s influence in the Biden administration. Former state representative (and former mayor of Boston) Marty Walsh is serving as labor secretary, former state representative Claire Cronin of Easton is in Dublin as Biden’s ambassador to Ireland, former state representative Lori Ehrlich of Marblehead left the House to become the regional administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and current state representative Maria Robinson of Framingham is a U.S. Senate committee vote away from joining the Biden team as assistant secretary in the Office of Electricity.


New to NewBostonPost?  Conservative media is hard to find in Massachusetts.  But you’ve found it.  Now dip your toe in the water for two bucks — $2 for two months.  And join the real revolution.