Tufts expands capacity of Community Relations office with appointment of co-director

Rocco DiRico
Rocco DiRico
August 15, 2016

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Patrick Collins

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. (August 15, 2016) Tufts University has appointed Rocco DiRico, a Medford native with extensive political and public service experience, as co-director of its Community Relations office. DiRico will join longtime director Barbara Rubel in building and maintaining relationships with Tufts’ host communities of Medford, Somerville and the Boston neighborhoods of Chinatown, the Fenway and Mission Hill.

The Community Relations office advises university departments about opportunities to connect Tufts programs with specific host community needs, works with Tisch College on community service and volunteer opportunities, and manages the logistics of the annual Tufts Community Appeal campaign,  the Tufts Neighborhood Service Fund grant program and the Community Audit program. The office organizes and presents Tufts’ annual Community Day, a celebration of the university’s relationships with Medford and Somerville. And it supports the Mission Main Family Fun Day in Mission Hill and the Oak Street Festival in Chinatown.

The office’s scope of responsibilities recently grew to include Boston’s Fenway and Mission Hill neighborhoods, long home to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which became part of Tufts on July 1 and is now known as the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, or SMFA at Tufts.

DiRico will oversee relationships with Medford, the Fenway and Mission Hill.

“Rocco brings a great deal of public service experience to this position and will enhance our commitment to forging strong ties with our neighbors,” said Mary R. Jeka, senior vice president for university relations and general counsel. “His knowledge of Tufts’ host communities will help us build on the strong relationships already in place.”

DiRico most recently served as deputy state director of U.S. Sen. Edward Markey’s Boston office. For 12 years prior to that, he held a variety of positions for then-U.S. Rep. Markey, ultimately serving as district director for the 5th Congressional District of Massachusetts, overseeing offices in Medford and Framingham.

DiRico has managed a variety of political issues and worked with local, state and federal officials.  He has spent much of his career facilitating dialogue with community residents, nonprofits and other stakeholders.

DiRico was born and raised in Medford.  He is a graduate of Providence College, where he earned a bachelor’s in political science, and the Sawyer School of Business at Suffolk University, where he earned a master’s in public administration. 

“I’ve spent my entire career working with local residents, community leaders and elected officials,” said DiRico. “I’m looking forward to working on Tufts’ behalf in Medford, Somerville and Boston.”

About Tufts University

Tufts University, located on campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville and Grafton, Massachusetts, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.