Mayor-Elect Ballantyne Announces Executive Staff

Nikki Spencer, M.S.W., M.P.H.,a Somerville resident, has been named the incomingChief of Staff. Spencer brings more than 10 years ofexperience in operational management, public health, and community engagement. Her project leadership and strategic planning experience span nonprofit, governmental, and academic settings where she has consistently championed equity initiatives. As a public health social worker, she has spent the last 18 months combating COVID-19 and supporting those most impacted across the state, including in Somerville. Most recently, she served as the Tactics and Operations Manager for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Vaccine Equity Initiative. She holds both a Master of Social Work and a Master of Public Health from Washington University in St. Louis. 

Aneesh Sahni will oversee the policy agenda for the Ballantyne administration as the Director of Intergovernmental Relations. Sahni most recently served as the Legislative Director for State Senator Brendan Crighton, 3rd Essex District, where, among other initiatives, he worked on the eviction and foreclosure moratorium, public transit access improvements, and educational equity. A former public school teacher, Sahni has also worked for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and served as a Policy Fellow in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is active in efforts to support leaders of color and improve racial equity in government and holds a B.A. from Princeton University in Public and International Affairs.

Finally,Luz Lopez is joining the Mayor's Office as an Executive Administrative Assistant. Lopez comes to the office having spent the last three years as a Senior Clerk at the East Somerville Community School. She is fluent in Spanish and enjoys working to meet the needs of constituents from around Somerville.  

“My goal is to get to work on day one, to address the primary concerns of the people of Somerville: affordability, the environment, transportation, mobility, equity, education, health, COVID-19 safety and recovery, and so much more,” said Mayor-elect Ballantyne. “The list of critical issues is long, and I intend to address them with the most qualified staff, the most effective structures, and always an ear to the ground to hear the many voices in our community so we can deliver the progress and quality services that Somerville demands.”