Real Estate Development & Permitting
Brian Golden serves as Partner and Chair of the Real Estate Development & Permitting practice.
● Real Estate Development
& Permitting Practice
Brian Golden served for more than eight years as Director of the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA), managing the largest building boom in Boston’s history, while ushering in policy and public process reforms to improve the lives of Bostonians. As the longest serving chief executive in the agency’s history, he focused on improving transparency, accountability, and community engagement, while increasing affordable housing, economic development, and climate resiliency across Boston’s neighborhoods. Golden led an intensive operational reform effort over multiple years and rebranded the agency from the former Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) to the Boston Planning & Development Agency to better reflect the agency’s mission.
During his tenure, Golden guided more than 90 million square feet of development approvals through the BPDA’s permitting process, representing approximately $43 billion of investment, and supporting over 80,000 permanent jobs, over 90,000 construction jobs, and 46,000 additional induced (indirect) jobs.
Golden grew the BPDA’s planning capacity, overseeing completion of the first general city plan since 1965, Imagine Boston 2030, in addition to comprehensive neighborhood planning studies representing 30 percent of Boston’s land mass. As Director, Golden oversaw 20 million square feet of BPDA-owned property, including the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park (RLFMP) and the Charlestown Navy Yard (CNY), prioritizing public land for public good.
In July 2022, Golden traveled to Singapore to accept an international planning award on behalf of the City of Boston. The 2020 Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize honored Boston with a Special Mention based on the city’s holistic work on climate resilience, improving housing affordability and mobility options, and fostering civic participation. Boston was the only city in the United States honored in the 2020 prize cycle, and one of only four cities honored worldwide.
An attorney since 1993, Golden is a former member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where he served the Allston-Brighton neighborhood of Boston. He was also the New England Regional Director at the US Department of Health and Human Services, a Commissioner at the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy, and a Non-Executive Director at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston. Golden has served as a US Army officer, active duty and reserve, for more than 25 years. His military experience includes duty in Bosnia, Iraq, and Israel/West Bank. His military awards include the Bronze Star Medal for service in Iraq and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal for service in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
College of William and Mary, School of Law, JD, 1992
U.S. Army War College, Master's Degree, Strategic Studies, 2014
Harvard College, Bachelor of Arts, Government, 1987