James E. Rooney, Executive Director
Jim Rooney is executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, which oversees the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center in Boston's Back Bay, the 1,350-space Boston Common Parking Garage, and the MassMutual Center in Springfield. As executive director, Rooney oversees a $60 million annual operating budget, a $25 million annual capital program and about 210 full-time employees.
Rooney was named executive director in 2003 while also overseeing the construction of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Since then, MCCA bookings have exceeded projections, with conventions at Boston facilities now generating more than $500 million in annual economic impact for the Commonwealth and Greater Boston.
Rooney was named in the Boston Business Journal's 2011 list of the 50 Most Influential Bostonians and was twice named to Tradeshow Week's Power Pack as one of the top ten convention center leaders in North America. Rooney was also named 2008's Distinguished Public Administrator by the Massachusetts chapter of the American Society for Public Administration.
Under Rooney's leadership, in 2011, the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and the Hynes Convention Center became only the 14th and 15th centers to be awarded gold standard certifications by the International Association of Congress Centers (AIPC).
Rooney is currently heading a new initiative called "Top 5" with plans to develop a 1000-1200 room headquarters hotel and to expand the BCEC in an effort to vault Boston into the Top 5 convention destinations in North America over the next decade.
Rooney previously served as director of development and construction for the MCCA, overseeing construction of the $850 million BCEC and the renovation and expansion of the $71 million MassMutual Center. The BCEC project was later hailed as one of the best-run public works projects in the country, and both projects were completed on schedule and within budget.
Before moving to the MCCA in 2001, Rooney served two years as chief of staff to Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. He began his public career at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, where he spent 18 years, starting as a track laborer while still attending Harvard College. He ended his MBTA career as deputy general manager. During the 1990's, Rooney also served in senior positions at the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority and the Central Artery Project.
Rooney sits on the Board of Directors of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), the leading convention and meetings industry organization, and the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC), a global network of over 170 leading convention centers in 54 countries. Rooney also sits on several nonprofit community boards in the Boston area, including The Children's Trust Fund; the Boston Children's Museum, Friends of the Fort Point Channel and Project Bread/Walk for Hunger.
Rooney grew up in South Boston and attended the prestigious Boston Latin School, graduating as president of his class. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Harvard College and attended the Boston University School of Management. He and his wife Maryanne reside in Dorchester and have three children.