Vivien Li

Karoff Leadership Honoree

Vivien Li (she/her/hers) has been shaping and inspiring the Boston community for decades.  Thanks to her visionary leadership at The Boston Harbor Association and her ability to cajole and to collaborate with property owners and others over more than two decades, the general public can now enjoy Boston’s 43 mile HarborWalk public access system with open spaces, public art, public amenities and facilities, and boat docks. Under Vivien’s leadership, in 2010 The Boston Harbor Association convened the first-ever Boston Harbor Sea Level Rise Forum, bringing together hundreds of community, business, environmental, and government leaders and setting the stage for greater local action on climate change. During the past decade, she has continued her efforts on climate action, as well as fostered greater public access along waterfronts, not only in Boston but also in Pittsburgh, PA.  Recognized as an initiator/implementer, Vivien’s counsel has been sought by governors and mayors, whether they are transitioning to their newly elected positions, or implementing new initiatives, as in the latter instance with her appointment to a newly-established Boston Municipal Lobbying Compliance Commission to ensure greater transparency in local governance.  Acknowledging the importance of grooming  and celebrating the next generation of leaders, Vivien serves on the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation/Harvard’s Institute of Politics New Frontier Award Committee which recognizes leaders under the age of 40, as well as on the selection committee of Harvard’s Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston Summer Fellows Program.  She has volunteer leadership roles in fundraising to support students at her alma maters, Barnard College and Princeton University.  In her “spare time”, Vivien volunteers at local food pantries and day shelters.

Recently, Vivien recalled that the last live performance she attended was “Hair” at the New Rep Theatre the day before her birthday in February 2020.  “The highlight of this year will no doubt be when I can applaud in person the cast of New Rep’s next production,” she said.