Public service ties together two family threads for Jake. On his dad’s side, it’s a tradition dating back to the Roosevelt and Kennedy administrations. On his mom’s side, it’s an obligation: a way to give back to a country that not only welcomed, but invested in, a family of poor Jewish refugees.
After graduating from the Newton Public Schools and Harvard College, Jake served as a captain in the United States Marines. His family had emphasized the importance of public service growing up, and it was his time to serve. He commanded infantry in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2012 and a reconnaissance unit in Panama in 2014. In Helmand, he led combat patrols through villages contested by the Taliban. In Panama, his team of elite reconnaissance Marines partnered with Colombian special operations to train the Panamanian Public Forces in drug interdiction tactics.
After returning home, Jake wanted to continue service at the local level. He was elected to the Newton City Council in 2015 and re-elected in 2017 and 2019. He is now the chair of the transportation and public safety committee, where he drives the city council’s agenda on reducing traffic and improving transit and walkability. Jake was the first elected official to endorse Ruthanne Fuller for mayor. She is now the first female mayor of Newton. Jake, himself, has been endorsed for city council by Progressive Newton for his forward-thinking positions on the environment, transportation, immigration, and education.
Jake has worked at a cybersecurity startup, acquired in 2018, and then as a senior manager at Liberty Mutual’s innovation lab. At Liberty Mutual, Jake helped orient the Fortune 100 company towards risk solutions for a greener, less congested transportation system, in which transit, walking, and cycling are viable options to cars. Jake has written extensively on state and local policy at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Project on Municipal Innovation, as a contributing writer for CommonWealth, and as the author of his own local newsletter. He was selected for the governor’s Better Government Transition Committee in 2014. He has an MBA in Finance from MIT Sloan.
Jake lives in Newtonville with his wife, Michelle, and their Labrador Retriever, Donut. He spends his free time with his nephews, Ryan (age 8) and Aaron (age 1