Boston, MA – November 17, 2021 – Cushman & Wakefield announced today that the real estate services firm has hired John F. Barros as the Managing Principal of Boston. In this role, effective November 29, Barros will lead all market activities and drive growth and business performance throughout Boston and New England.
“John is a dynamic leader who has deep roots within the Boston community,” said Roberta Liss, President of the East Region at Cushman & Wakefield. “He possesses a unique ability to lead individuals with diverse backgrounds and perspectives at all levels to drive toward common goals. His extensive experience with building relationships coupled with his passion for the city of Boston make him the ideal addition to our team. We are confident he will help us continue to elevate our professionals and offer our clients best-in-class services and solutions.”
A proven leader and long-time member of the community, Barros is a results-driven, business-savvy entrepreneur who is passionate about building relationships and solving problems before they arise. A two-time candidate for Mayor, he has professional experience spanning a breadth of industries, including government, politics, philanthropy and professional services.
“I am thrilled to be joining Cushman & Wakefield, which has long-solidified itself as one of Boston’s leading commercial real estate services firms,” said Barros. “The firm already has a strong talent roster in Boston and I’m looking forward to working alongside these fantastic professionals. I was drawn to the firm’s culture of teamwork, respect, excellence and winning and am ecstatic to begin working alongside some of the industry’s best and brightest.”
From 2014 through 2021, Barros was appointed by the Mayor to serve as the Chief of Economic Development. In this role, John led the strategic planning process to streamline 11 city departments and agencies into seven, as well as developed policies and programs to provide access to capital, generate local wealth creation and enhance connectivity to jobs. He was also instrumental in bringing together more than 130 business owners and government officials to develop strategies to cope with the impacts of COVID-19 and support the city in its recovery.
Prior to his appointment to Chief of Economic Development, Barros was an executive director for Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative and an executive protection liability underwriter for Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. He is also the co-owner and founder of Restaurante Cesaria, which serves as a gathering space for neighborhood meetings, campaign kick-offs and other cultural events in Dorchester.
Barros received his Bachelor of Arts in African and African American Studies from Dartmouth College and a Masters in Public Policy from Tufts University. He holds a Certificate in Financial Analysis from the New York Institute of Finance and attended Duke University and University of Cape Town Business School’s Emerging Leaders Program and Civil Society Forum. He has an Honorary Associates degree from Urban College of Boston and an Honorary Doctorate of Commerce degree from Sawyer School of Business.
Carolyn Sidor will be taking a role as Senior Managing Director, New England Brokerage Operations, where she will partner closely with Barros to continue to grow market share and support efforts to retain and recruit top talent.
Philanthropy, Honors and Recognitions
Barros has been involved in a plethora of philanthropic initiatives, including serving as the current chair of Trustees of Charitable Donations for the City of Boston, as well as the former program policy committee member of The Skillman Foundation Board of Trustees and former member of the Roundtable on Community Change for The Aspen Institute.
As well as his philanthropic efforts, Barros is well known for his community and civic leadership. He was a candidate for mayor in the Boston Mayoral Municipal Elections in 2021 and 2013. He has served as a member of the Boston School Committee, trustee of Boston College High School, member of the board of trustees of Saint Patrick’s School, member of Roxbury Master Plan Strategic Oversight Committee, board member of Boston Parent Organizing Network, fellow of the Barr Foundation and more.
Barros has been widely awarded for his dedication to the city of Boston. He has been recognized with a multitude of awards, including being recognized six years in a row by Boston Magazine as one of the city’s most influential and powerful people in business. He has also been awarded the Swann Matthei award from Grounded Solutions Network, the Community Award from the Boston Day & Evening Academy, the Ruffin Award from the Archdiocese of Boston Office of Black Catholics and the Community Services Award from Action for Boston Community Development.