Hannah brings a fresh perspective, tireless work ethic, joy, and a sharp analytical mind to Beverly’s City Council.
Hannah Bowen settled in Beverly after working in global policy for many years. She grew up nearby in Swampscott, and fell in love with public service early – watching her parents participate in Town Meeting and public hearings, taking a government class at Swampscott High, getting a summer job at the MA Department of Education, and working for the Sonoma County government after graduating from Yale University.
Endlessly curious, Hannah looked for ways to expand her horizons further and joined the Peace Corps in 2004. She lived in a small town in southeastern Ghana for 2 years and learned-by-doing what public service is all about: community organizing, mutual aid, shared vision, and creative problem-solving. She also learned a lot about inequality and the impacts – good and bad – of the policy choices we make.
Wanting to be of service, Hannah went back to school and earned a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, with a focus on international development. After graduation, she was drawn to the nonprofit sector, where she applied the analytical tools she’d learned to issues like access to information, public health, sustainable investing, and responsive government. She currently serves as Executive Director of the North Shore Community Mediation Center. See more about Hannah’s work on her LinkedIn page. For about a decade, Hannah was lucky to travel all over the world and learn from other policy experts and grassroots advocates. A few years ago, she felt like it was time to spend more than just a few holidays and vacations every year with family here on the North Shore, so she moved back and settled in for good.
Why Beverly? Maybe it was all the signs for other Hannahs around town – fitting right in with the schooner and the school. But mostly it was that Beverly has all the things Hannah loves the most – the ocean; a walkable and active downtown; nature to wander freely in; a diverse mix of people with different backgrounds, careers, incomes, and interests; great food, strong coffee, local beer; an arts scene including live music; and welcoming neighbors. Those are the things she wants us all to continue enjoying here.
How Do I Approach the Role of Councilor At Large?
I think our government is whatever we, collectively, make it. So as a Councilor I am working to make our city government open, accessible, inclusive, and highly effective.
I don’t want a government that’s all talk, so I try not to be that kind of Councilor. I do ask a lot of questions – to make sure that we’re getting the action we need from city government.
As an at-large Councilor, I listen to and try my best to balance the needs of neighbors across all our many unique neighborhoods. I rely on my neighbors’ own knowledge of what is working for them and what isn’t. Whether it’s at in-person or Zoom office hours that I schedule regularly, at neighborhood events I attend, or just passing conversations around the city, I’m paying attention.
I do not want our city government to be some nameless, faceless entity that makes decisions for us – so I try to be a Councilor you can see around town and discuss issues with, before and after we make decisions, together.
I want an efficient and effective government, so as a Councilor I come prepared and I work collaboratively with the rest of the Council, the Mayor, the School Committee, and city departments to deliver all of the services that our tax dollars are pooled together to provide us with.
I want our city to remain welcoming, fun, empathetic, productive, imaginative, and unpretentious, so I will always try to show up that way as a Councilor.
Thank you for the opportunity to work with you!