Former MassDOT Secretary to Lead Boston 2024 Efforts

The torch has been passed.

Deval Patrick, Richard Davey

image via Associated Press

The group vying to bring the 2024 Olympics to the Boston area has a new leader: former MassDOT Secretary Richard Davey.

Boston 2024, the entity that’s working with the United States Olympic Committee to secure a bid to host the games in the city in the next decade, announced Friday that Davey would take over for the organization’s current chief executive, Dan O’Connell, effective immediately.

“This is a terrific opportunity to build upon all the great work and planning that has already been done,” said Davey. “But in many ways this is just the beginning. Over the next year we will be in every community in Boston —and in every region of the state—to get the thoughts and input of the public on what a 2024 Games would look like and the kind of legacy it could and should leave for Massachusetts.”

The non-profit group, which revealed “proof-of-concept” plans for the Olympic bid during a public meeting this week, is entering the second phase of the bid process after being selected by the USOC in December to represent the U.S. as an applicant to host the games.

John Fish, Chairman of Boston 2024, said the group was “indebted” to O’Connell for getting them this far. “Dan O’Connell was integral in making the case over the last year that Boston could host a Games that was sustainable, cost-effective, and that would leave a lasting legacy for Boston and Massachusetts,” Fish said in a statement.

O’Connell, who served as secretary of Housing and Economic Development for former Governor Deval Patrick’s administration, will remain part of the Boston 2024 effort by serving as a member of the executive committee.

“Working with the team to craft the initial proposal and to win the support and confidence of the USOC is one of the proudest moments of my career,” said O’Connell in a press release. “Rich will now grab the baton for the next two years, and I look forward to working with him.”

During his tenure as MassDOT’s secretary and CEO, Davey helped bring a late-night train service pilot program to the T, add an additional stop, in Assembly Square, to the Orange Line, and secure federal funding to expand the Green Line to Somerville and Medford.

Prior to his role leading MassDOT, Davey served as the T’s general manager.

Davey will guide Boston 2024 toward securing the bid to host the Olympics, as they make their pitch to the International Olympic Committee. The IOC is expected to make a decision about which city will host the games sometime in 2017.