Who We Are
Charlotte Kahn, Co-Founder & Director Emeritus
Charlotte Kahn co-founded the Boston Indicators Project at the Boston Foundation in 1997. Recently retired, she was its director since 2000. Previously at the foundation, she coordinated Boston’s participation in the Rockefeller Foundation-sponsored Persistent Poverty Project, a six-city poverty alleviation initiative.
Charlotte is a long-time member of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership, and past President of the Community Indicators Consortium, and was a member of the Editorial Board of State of the USA (SUSA). She is also a co-founder of the Open Indictors Consortium (OIC), coordinated at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, through which teams in twelve US regions are collaborating to develop and deploy a high-performance open source data analysis and visualization platform, Weave.
Prior to working at the Boston Foundation, Charlotte served as Director of the Education Fund of the Tax Equity Alliance for Massachusetts. For thirteen years prior to that, she was the Executive Director of Boston Urban Gardeners, an organization she co-founded during Boston’s school desegregation crisis, dedicated to improving the quality of life in Boston’s low-income neighborhoods and public housing developments through community gardens, open space planning, job training and youth development programs. Earlier still, she worked for an educational film company and for the Atlantic magazine.
Charlotte attended Cornell University, holds a Masters degree from Antioch University, and was awarded a Loeb Fellowship in Advanced Environmental Studies by the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
Jessica Martin, Research Director
Jessica Martin has been a member of the Boston Indicators Project at the Boston Foundation since 2006, most recently as the Research Manager where her primary focus is data collection and analysis supporting the project’s goals of democratizing data, tracking progress on shared civic goals and producing biennial reports on the state of Boston, its neighborhoods and the region. Jessica has also contributed to occasional special reports of the Project, focused on topics such as education and poverty. In her role at the Foundation, she contributes to the on-going, data-driven impact assessment of the Boston Foundation’s core strategies and initiatives. Prior to joining the Foundation, Jessica was an analyst in the private sector. She is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and the John W. McCormack School of Policy Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and resides in the Boston neighborhood of Jamaica Plain.
Nse Esema, Digital Communications & Research Associate
Nse Esema joined the Boston Foundation in the fall of 2012 after receiving a Masters in City Planning from MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning. There, much of her coursework was focused on data analysis and mapping. Previously and while at MIT, Nse completed a range of mapping projects and facilitated community stakeholder participation in urban planning initiatives both domestically and internationally. Her local projects included an analysis of the nexus of crime incidence and mortgage foreclosures in the Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood of Dorchester and an analysis of the impact of Metro Boston’s land use and transportation patterns on regional sustainability. Nse was born in Nigeria and has lived in the US since age seven. She completed her undergraduate education at the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in Urban Studies.