Dion Irish is the Chief of Operations for the City of Boston, where he brings a deep knowledge and understanding of key operational departments. Commissioner Irish has served the City of Boston for 25 years in various leadership positions, most recently as Commissioner of the Inspectional Services Department (ISD) since 2019. Prior to becoming commissioner, Irish worked at ISD for 17 years, serving previously as Assistant Commissioner and Director of Housing Inspections for 12 years. In that role, he helped establish nationally recognized programs such as Breathe Easy at Home, Rental Property Registration, and the statewide comprehensive certification training for housing inspectors.
In 2012, Irish stepped away from ISD when he was appointed Executive Director of Boston’s Office of Civil Rights (now known as the Office of Fair Housing and Equity). Here, he established interagency collaborations to address housing discrimination and lead paint in homes, both of which limited opportunities for families and children. In 2014, Irish received a Henry L. Shattuck Award for public service from the Boston Municipal Research Bureau. In 2015, former Mayor Martin J. Walsh appointed Irish as Commissioner of Boston’s Election Department, where he oversaw the implementation of early voting initiatives, the administration of 11 elections, and improved technology and cybersecurity for the department. Irish also helped expand civic engagement through collaborations with the Boston Public Schools and other partners.
As Chief of Operations, Irish oversees the Property Management Department, ISD, and the Public Facilities Department. The Property Management Department is responsible for the use, management, maintenance, building security, and repair of the City’s municipal building inventory. ISD enforces building, housing, health, sanitation, and safety regulations as mandated by the city and state. The department’s mission is to permit, regulate, and inspect construction work, homes, and businesses in a strategic effort to protect and improve the quality of life for all Boston residents and the business community. The Public Facilities Department is the City’s construction management arm, responsible for executing Boston’s multi-year, $900 million capital building program.