President and Chief Executive Officer
In October 2015, following a nation-wide search, Vivien Li became President and CEO of Riverlife, a non-profit organization with the mission to reclaim, restore, and promote Pittsburgh’s riverfronts. Previously, while Executive Director and then President of The Boston Harbor Association (TBHA), she worked to promote a clean, alive and accessible Boston Harbor. Under her leadership, The Boston Harbor Association helped to secure $30 million in state funding for the “Back to the Beaches” program to restore Boston Harbor beaches; been a major force behind completion of Boston’s 41-mile HarborWalk public access system; launched the Harbor Bound education program which has taken more than 11,000 inner city students on harbor education trips to Deer Island treatment facility; and initiated annual free “Working Port” cruises to highlight Boston’s port activities. Vivien and TBHA convened the first-ever “Boston Harbor Sea Level Rise Forum” in 2010, and Vivien was named by Boston Mayor Martin Walsh to co-chair the City’s Climate Action Plan Steering Committee.
Vivien serves on Carlow University President’s Advisory Council; Chatham University Sustainability Advisory Committee; Allegheny College Prize for Civility in Public Life Committee; Pittsburgh City Planning Department’s Contextual Design Advisory Panel, and on Allegheny County Health Department Advisory Coalition. Vivien is also an overseer at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a Harvard teaching hospital; an advisory board member of Harvard University’s Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston; a committee member of the New Frontier Awards presented by Harvard’s Institute of Politics and the Kennedy Library Foundation; and a member of the national Sierra Club’s Finance and Risk Management Committee.
Prior to joining Riverlife, Vivien chaired MassDevelopment’s Brownfields Advisory Group as well as the Boston Conservation Commission, and was a trustee of the Boston Foundation for Architecture and a trustee of Eastern Bank Corporation. Vivien served a three-year term on Princeton University’s Committee to Nominate Alumni Trustees, and she is the immediate past co-chair of the Advisory Council, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University. Vivien was the first non-architect elected to serve a three-year term on the Board of Directors of The American Institute of Architects.
Vivien joined The Boston Harbor Association after serving as senior staff to MA Governor Michael Dukakis. Prior to that, she was special assistant to the MA Public Health Commissioner. She also worked for the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the National Urban League, and the City of Newark, New Jersey.
Vivien has degrees from Barnard College and Princeton University. She has been recognized by numerous organizations, including most recently by the national Sierra Club with its 2015 Walter Starr Award, by the Boston Society of Architects/Women in Design with a 2015 Award of Excellence, and by the Women’s Lunch Place (social service organization helping women in poverty) as its 2014 award recipient.