Jill Valdés Horwood is director of the Barr Foundation’s Boston Waterfront Initiative. In this role she leads efforts to promote a great public realm throughout Boston’s waterfront. The initiative aims to ensure that all people and neighborhoods have access to and benefit from a vibrant, inclusive, and climate-resilient harbor now and in the future, with a particular urgency to address disparities in social and economic opportunities.
Before joining Barr, Jill served as Boston Harbor Now’s Policy Director. In this capacity she worked closely with City and State permitting agencies and waterfront stakeholders on all state, municipal and federal waterfront policy issues affecting Boston’s waterfront. Before shifting her focus to Boston Harbor, Jill worked to support students with special education needs, victims of domestic violence, and underserved populations facing court-ordered mediation foreclosure proceedings in Cook County, Illinois.
Jill holds a J.D. with a certificate in Public Interest Law from DePaul University College of Law and an LL.M. in Maritime Law from the University of Miami where she also received a B.A in Psychology. In 2020, she earned her Master of Science in Maritime Business Management from Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Jill serves on the board of the Disability Law Center. A former Conservation Commissioner, Jill was proud to serve the City of Boston as the first Cuban-American woman appointed by Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh.