Former Fall River Mayor, Director of UMass Dartmouth Policy Center Named Commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation
A Fall River resident with over two decades of experience in public policy and management, Lambert, 52, will lead the largest of EEA's six agencies, overseeing a staff of 1,140 employees and serving as chief steward of 450,000 acres of state forests, parks, greenways, historic sites and landscapes, seashores, lakes, ponds, reservoirs and watersheds.
"With a career devoted to working for residents of the South Coast and students of our public higher education system, it would be hard to overstate Ed Lambert's commitment to public service," said Governor Deval Patrick. "I am thrilled he is joining our team to take charge of the parks, beaches, and forests that make Massachusetts such a great place for people to live and visit."
"Ed Lambert is a seasoned and talented public manager who brings to the DCR broad experience and success in public policy and public sector leadership," said Secretary Sullivan, who led the DCR during the first term of the Patrick-Murray Administration. "Having served as DCR Commissioner, I am keenly aware of how much the public expects of the state's parks, beaches, forests, and campgrounds. I am confident that the DCR and its mission to provide recreation opportunities for the public while conserving the environment will thrive under Ed's watch."
"With a portfolio of properties that range from ocean beaches and mountain trails to skating rinks, pools, and golf courses, the DCR enhances the quality of life for citizens and visitors across the Commonwealth every day. I thank Governor Patrick and Secretary Sullivan for entrusting me with the job of leading, managing, and advocating for this vitally important state agency," Commissioner Lambert said.
With Lambert's appointment, Jack Murray, who served has served as DCR Acting Commissioner since Secretary Sullivan's cabinet appointment earlier this month, will return to his position as Deputy Commissioner of Operations.
Lambert worked most recently at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth where, since 2007, he has been director of The Urban Initiative since 2007. In that role, he led a research center than provides in-depth reports, analysis, technical assistance and project development to municipalities, state agencies, and non-profit and business organizations. While there, he helped lead an effort to create the Massachusetts Gateway Cities coalition to develop a statewide urban agenda and shape state policy and legislation, and developed the first-ever satellite of the National Dropout Prevention Center. Lambert also taught undergraduate and graduate level courses in public policy and public management.
As Mayor of Fall River from 1996 to 2007, Lambert managed an organization of approximately 3,000 employees with an annual operating budget of roughly $220 million. He improved the City's financial position - balancing 11 consecutive city budgets and significantly upgrading Fall River's bond rating. He also reorganized Fall River's municipal government by creating a cabinet-style structure, breaking down barriers to inter-departmental cooperation.
Prior to his tenure as Mayor, Lambert was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, representing the Eighth Bristol District and serving as vice-chair of the Committee on Human Services and a member of the Committee on Education. Lambert was an author of legislation that reorganized the Massachusetts public higher education system, creating the five-campus University of Massachusetts system, and assisted in writing the state's landmark Education Reform Act of 1993. He was elected five times to the Fall River School Committee, where he served from 1979 to 1988.
Lambert earned a B.A. in psychology from Southeastern Massachusetts University and a Master's in education counseling from Bridgewater State College. He resides in Fall River with his wife, Ava, and has a 22-year-old son, James.