Who We Are

Jennifer Gilbert


email: jgilbert@vivaconsult.com


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA
Masters in City Planning (MCP), Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Recipient, Lawrence Anderson Prize

Northeastern University School of Law, Boston, MA
JD, Skadden Fellowship for Public Interest Law

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
BA, History, magna cum laude

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“A clever woman can weave with a donkey’s hoof.”
– Egyptian Proverb

Jennifer Gilbert supports organizations planning for change within their facilities and programs, drawing on 20 years of practice managing large-scale real estate development projects. Her varied list of completed projects includes housing, early education facilities, commercial spaces, and a boutique hotel. The scale of her projects has ranged from infill triple-deckers to 60-acre sites. Additionally, she has helped nonprofits and public agencies grapple with potential mergers and strategic collaborations, define and implement new programmatic ventures, and prepare staff and systems to take on related responsibilities. Jennifer is particularly adept at managing projects across disciplines (design, construction, finance, community process, legal) and within an organization, across departments. She particularly appreciates mission-driven clients who may not focus in real estate development themselves but see a building project as one which will significantly augment their programmatic delivery and outcomes.

Served as Project Director for a 22,000 square foot, state-of-the-art Learning Lab, which leveraged over $16 million in New Market Tax Credit equity, private fundraising, public housing funds and debt to secure access to early education in a public housing development. Nurtury, Inc., Boston, MA

Assisted program design and roll out of a new predevelopment loan fund for historic buildings; scope included identifying best practices in revolving loan fund project selection and administration, drafting the initial RFP and assisting Preservation Mass in assessing and awarding the first loans. Preservation Massachusetts, Boston, MA

Managing all aspects of the redevelopment and expansion of a transitional housing project for a national leader in service provision to homeless youth and young mothers. Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Boston

Assessed organizational capacity and readiness to take on large-scale, multi-use development project for Boston nonprofit serving the chronically homeless, particularly those with substance abuse and health issues.

Led recruitment efforts for new Executive Director for Housing Corporation of Arlington and assisted in recruitment engagements for leadership positions at HAP Housing and the Cambridge Housing Authority.

Served as lead or collaborated on multiple strategic and business planning efforts including Historic Boston, Inc.,  Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation, Gulf Coast Housing and Connecticut Housing Investment Fund.

Performed project feasibility assessments on historic buildings to analyze program and financing choices/trade-offs and better align organizational mission and the bottom line. Resulting strategies focused next steps for implementation. YWCA of Cambridge, DCAM Chelsea Soldiers Home

Designed the curriculum for and taught “Historic Preservation Law, Planning and Finance” Boston Architectural College; “Driving a Closing” Massachusetts Housing Partnership/Mel King Institute; and “Assembling Financing” Children’s Investment Fund

VIVA Consulting / Private Consultant, Cambridge, MA
Principal, 2001 – present

Seasoned practice with focus in overseeing complex real estate development transactions, strategic and business planning, strategic restructuring, and financing/fundraising. Particular expertise in managing efforts across disciplines, interests, and functions: design, construction, finance, accounting, procurement, regulatory approvals, community relations/partnerships.

ABT Associates, Inc., Cambridge, MA
Associate, 1999-2001

Project Director on planning, development and policy projects. Significant engagements included:

  • Project Director for Nashville’s redevelopment authority on the $70 million revitalization of Preston Taylor Homes, Nashville TN.
  • Led 2001 HOPE VI federal grant application process resulting in the award of $35 million for the redevelopment of Maverick Gardens, Boston, MA.

Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency, Nashville, TN
HOPE VI Project Coordinator, 1998-1999

Coordinated all aspects of a $23 million public housing and community facility revitalization project.

Managed project staff and team from project planning to occupancy (fundraising, design, internal team management and inter-departmental coordination, regulatory approvals, community participation, financial analysis, legal structuring, loan and syndication closings).

The Community Builders, Inc., Boston, MA
Project Manager, 1996-1997
Assistant General Counsel, Law Clerk, 1994-1997

Performed legal and real estate project management tasks on a variety of developments. Recipient Skadden Fellowship for Public Interest Law.

Charles River Conservancy
Board of Directors
Chair, Swimmable Charles Committee

Social Ventures Partners, Boston
Partner and Member, Board of Directors, 2016; Member, Investment Committee, 2015

Member, Cambridge Master Plan Alewife Working Group