Three named to BPL Board of Trustees

The Boston Public Library (BPL) announced that Jim Canales, Raymond Liu, and Porsha Olayiwola have been appointed by Mayor Michelle Wu to serve on the Boston Public Library Board of Trustees.   

The Trustees’ mission is to preserve and provide access to historical records of our society, and to serve the cultural, educational, and informational needs of the city of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.   

“I’m thrilled to appoint Porsha, Jim, and Ray to the Boston Public Library Board, bringing their expertise and love for Boston to one of the most historic and impactful institutions in our city,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “I’m grateful to the outgoing Trustees for their careful stewardship of the Boston Public Library and look forward to more years of enrichment and education with BPL throughout our neighborhoods.” 

“On behalf of my fellow trustees, we are delighted to welcome Jim, Ray, and Porsha to the Board,” said Priscilla H. Douglas, Chair of the BPL Trustees.  “Their unique talents, expertise, and community connections will ensure that the Boston Public Library continues to be a welcoming and equitable institution, even better positioned to offer enrichment and education — free to all.”    

Incorporated in 1878, the Boston Public Library Board of Trustees establishes policies and sets the strategic goals of the library, oversees the general operating and administrative policies, and acts as an agent of public trust governing the library. The BPL Board of Trustees works together with the library president to carry out responsibilities that involve governance and policy-making, financial and development oversight, and the work of strategic planning.   

The Board also recognized outgoing Trustees Jabari Asim, Ben Bradlee Jr, and Linda Dorcena Forry for their service at the Board of Trustees meeting on September 26.  

The Board of Trustees consists of 15 trustees, all residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and appointed by the Mayor of Boston. Trustees hold their office for a term of five years and until their successor is appointed.  

Jim Canales

Jim Canales is president and a trustee of the Barr Foundation, which focuses on elevating the arts, advancing solutions for climate change, and helping all young people thrive in high school and beyond. In 2023, Barr’s grantmaking is projected to be $150 million.  

Prior to Barr, Jim spent over two decades at The James Irvine Foundation, including service as president and CEO from 2003 through 2014. Before working in philanthropy, Jim was a high school English teacher, after earning a bachelor’s in English and a master’s in education from Stanford University.  

Jim currently serves as vice chair of the Kaiser Family Foundation and a trustee of both the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Eastern Bank Foundation. Jim’s prior board involvement includes a ten-year term as a Stanford University trustee. He has also served as chair of the boards of the College Futures Foundation, KQED Public Broadcasting, the Stanford Alumni Association, and Larkin Street Youth Services, and as vice chair of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. 

Raymond Liu

Dr. Ray Liu is the Vice President of Mass General Brigham Global Advisory, serving as the leader of the system wide international advisory services team, with direct responsibility for strategy, operations, and financial performance of Global Advisory. Global Advisory collaborates with governments, international institutions, healthcare systems, and investors to drive transformative, sustainable change that delivers best in class local and community health care. Global Advisory leads enterprise-wide international advisory efforts, focusing on strategy, system coordination, business development, and project delivery on behalf of Mass General Brigham healthcare system and its member hospitals.

Dr. Liu brings over a decade of experience and leadership in clinical and hospital operations through his previous roles at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Liu previously served as the Associate Chair for Business Strategy and Analytics for the Department of Radiology, the Director of the Radiology Consulting Group, and the Service Chief for Operational Redesign. His portfolio includes extensive work in operational efficiency, data analytics, and new business development, building upon his experience as a healthcare consultant for McKinsey & Co. Nationally, Dr. Liu serves on the Board of Directors for the Society of Interventional Radiology, where he is a Fellow, Treasurer, and former Chair of the Health Policy & Economics Division.  

Dr. Liu graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Medical School and went on to complete dual residencies in pediatrics and diagnostic radiology at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University. Dr. Liu returned to Boston to complete his fellowship in interventional radiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, including training at Children’s Hospital of Boston. 

Dr. Liu focuses his clinical interests in the fields of interventional oncology and pediatric interventions with a special interest in Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia and the treatment of pulmonary arteriovenous malformations. His research interests are focused on the economics of interventional radiology, operational efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. Dr. Liu lives in Brookline, MA with his wife and three children. 

Porsha Olayiwola

Porsha Olayiwola is a native of Chicago, IL who writes, lives, and organizes in Boston, MA. Olayiwola is a writer, performer, educator, and curator who uses Afrofuturism and surrealism to examine historical and current issues in the Black, woman and queer diasporas. She is an individual World Poetry Slam Champion and the founder of the Roxbury Poetry Festival.

Olayiwola is the 2021 Artist-In-Residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum as well as a 2020 Poet Laureate Fellow with the Academy of American Poets. Olayiwola is currently teaching in her role as the Jacob Ziskind Poet-In-Residence at Brandeis University. She is the author of i shimmer sometimes, too. Olayiwola is the current poet laureate for the City of Boston.

Her work can be found in or forthcoming from TriQuarterly Magazine, Black Warrior Review, The Boston Globe, Essence Magazine, Redivider, Split This Rock, The Academy of American Poets, Netflix, Wildness Press, The Museum of Fine Arts, and elsewhere. 

Olayiwola is the co-founder of the literary gathering space Words as Worlds and just Book-ish, opening in 2024 in Fields Corner. 

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