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State Sen. Ed Kennedy announced this week that he has named James Ostis, of Lowell, as his new Legislative Director.
Ostis was Sen. Kennedy’s assistant when he served as the Mayor of Lowell and stayed on as Mayor Bill Samaras’ assistant. This will be a return to Beacon Hill for him, having previously served as a legislative aide for state Rep. Colleen Garry (D-Dracut) from 2006-2012.
“I am excited to be bringing James on board and that we will be working together again,” said Kennedy. “His deep knowledge of the First Middlesex District, as well as of the State House and the legislative process, coupled with his writing and research abilities, will be a huge asset to my office and a great addition to my team.”
Currently a PhD candidate in the Public Policy program at UMass Boston’s McCormack School of Policy and Global Studies, Ostis was the first person from Lowell to be awarded the Rappaport Institute’s Public Policy Fellowship at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. In that role, he worked for a year on economic development projects in Gateway Cities in the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development under the guidance of former Secretary Jay Ash.
“During his time in the Mayor’s office, James routinely went above and beyond the position’s job description by contributing greatly on issues such as the new Lowell High School project, the 2020 Census Complete Count Committee, Lowell’s application to be the first UNESCO City of Learning in the United States, and numerous others,” said Samaras. “He will be missed at Lowell City Hall, but I am very happy for him and for Sen. Kennedy’s office.”
Ostis holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs from UMass Boston and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UMass Lowell.
An active member of the Lowell community, he is the current President of the Lowell Heritage Partnership, a member of the Board of Directors for the Angkor Dance Troupe, a member of the Lowell Festival Foundation Advisory Board, a long-time volunteer for the Lowell Folk Festival, former Chairman of the Lowell Cultural Council, and a former member of the Cultural Organization of Lowell (COOL) board.
“I am excited to be joining Senator Kennedy and his team at the State House,” said Ostis. “I have long been looking for a position that would allow me to focus on policy making and legislative issues and apply my academic research background in a professional setting. I look forward to this new opportunity to continue to work on behalf of the people of the Commonwealth and the First Middlesex District.”
Ostis will step into his new role later this month, taking the reins from Phil Geoffroy, who left to become the Executive Assistant to Lowell City Manager Eileen Donoghue.