Boston Municipal Research Bureau

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Boston Municipal Research Bureau
Abbreviation BMRB
Formation 1932
Headquarters Boston, Massachusetts United States
Samuel R. Tyler
Key people
  • Henry L. Shattuck
  • Diane Smith
  • Elaine Dandurand Beattie
  • James Michael
Revenue (2014)
Expenses (2014) $760,956[1]

The Boston Municipal Research Bureau is a non-profit, member supported research organization which focuses on urban issues in Boston, Massachusetts. The bureau was founded in 1932, and has a board of directors composed of major business and institutional non-profit leaders from the city of Boston. Today, the bureau publishes research reports and papers, "monitor[s] state and local fiscal affairs[,] highlight[s] major policy challenges, from contract negotiations to tax policy," and "studies municipal budgeting, management, and labor issues."[2]


The bureau was founded in 1932 by business leaders led by Henry L. Shattuck.[3] Shattuck, a member of a well-established New England family, was a local businessman, an attorney at the Boston-based firm now known as Ropes & Gray, the treasurer and senior fellow of the board of Harvard University, a member of the Massachusetts state legislature, and later a member of the Boston City Council.[4]

The organization was initially founded as a fiscal watchdog focused on the mayoral administration of James Michael Curley, the powerful Boston mayor who was later elected Governor of Massachusetts, and then later spent a portion of his final mayoral term in prison.[5]

In 1988 Dawn-Marie Driscoll, an executive at former Boston-based department store chain Filene's, became the first woman to lead the organization's board.[6]

Since 1985, the bureau has organized the annual Henry L. Shattuck Public Service Awards to honor employees of the City of Boston.[7] Since 1998, the bureau has also recognized business and nonprofit leaders involved in public service in the Boston area, through the Shattuck City Champions Award.[8]

Staff and board[edit]

Samuel R. Tyler, President of Boston Municipal Research Bureau

The bureau has offices and a full-time staff based in the Downtown Crossing neighborhood of Boston. The staff is responsible for the bureau's fact-finding mission, and publishes reports and papers, testifies at public hearings, shadows public officials, and provides quotes to local media. The current president is Samuel R. Tyler.[9]

In addition, the bureau has a board of directors composed of executives from many large businesses, universities and law firms based in Boston, including State Street Corporation, Liberty Mutual Group, Harvard University, Ropes & Gray, and the TD Garden.[10] The Executive Committee of the board had many members who were also members of the so-called "Vault", an informal collection of the heads of the largest businesses in Boston.[11]


  1. ^ a b "Boston Municipal Research Bureau" (PDF). Foundation Center. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  2. ^ Euchner, Charles, ed. "Governing Greater Boston: Meeting the Needs of the Region's People, 2003 Edition"[permanent dead link]. Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, 2003, p. 62.
  3. ^ "Editorial: Boston's Special People," The Boston Globe, Oct. 18, 1989, p. 18.
  4. ^ Galvin, James T (Mar 1977). "Henry Lee Shattuck: Ideal Politician". The New England Quarterly. 50 (1): 3–29. JSTOR 364701. (Registration required (help)). 
  5. ^ Galvin, pp. 8-12.
  6. ^ "Hub Municipal Research Bureau gets new chairwoman". The Boston Globe, Feb 9, 1988.
  7. ^ Nicas, Jack. "Watchdog group will recognize dedicated Boston employees," The Boston Globe, Oct. 5, 2009, p. 4.
  8. ^ Valencia, Milton. "From cleaner streets to more reliable buses, workers boost Boston," The Boston Globe, Oct. 28, 2008, p. B4.
  9. ^ "Boston Municipal Research Bureau - Staff" Archived July 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ "Boston Municipal Research Bureau - Board of Directors 2010" Archived February 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ "Hub," Boston Globe, Feb. 9, 1988