Eli J. & Phyllis N. Segal Citizen Leadership Program

John Valinch

2018 Heller MPP/MBA Segal Fellow

John Valinch is a dedicated and passionate activist who catalyzes change using empirical analysis and uplifting the knowledge inherent to communities. With deep roots in his hometown of Chelsea, Massachusetts, he is guided by a principled commitment to justice, equity, and building people power through intersectional community organizing and public policy.

John most recently served as Campaign Manager for the Committee to Elect Damali for State Representative for the Massachusetts Second Suffolk District. Previously, John worked as a Research Analyst for UNITE HERE, an international union representing over 270,000 hotel, gaming, airport, and food service employees. In addition, John played a pivotal role in the creation of Hospitality Employees Advancement and Training (HEAT), Inc., a workforce development organization in Miami, Fla., designed to provide hospitality workers with the training and skills needed to earn sustainable living wages, benefits, and jobs with dignity in South Florida. John also developed the strategy and plan to replicate and expand on the Miami model for hospitality workers in Detroit, Michigan.

Within his community, John serves on the Board of Directors for GreenRoots Inc., an environmental justice nonprofit organization. He is currently working with a group of residents, organizers, and elected officials to establish a community land trust in Chelsea in order to develop affordable housing in perpetuity for working class residents. During election seasons, John can be found behind-the-scenes and in the streets, providing support and uplifting the voices of his fellow community leaders through electoral campaigns.

John received a dual Master of Public Policy and Master of Business Administration at the Heller School at Brandeis University, where he served as the Co-President of the Master of Public Policy Student Association between 2017-2019. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2014 with a BA in Political Science and Public Policy, receiving the Roger Feinstein Award in Public Policy.