Thomas Ahern, Partner
Tom serves the clients of Five Corners Strategies by developing innovative grassroots and public affairs campaigns for commercial and residential developers, energy companies, casinos, industry associations and non-profit clients.
After a 20+ year career in public advocacy, he co-founded Five Corners to help our clients successfully manage the political and community challenges that often arise when seeking land use permits, legislative approvals and support in ballot measure campaigns. Tom’s extensive experience in the public and private sector has helped clients better understand how government works, and how the grassroots support of citizens can be the best ally for businesses seeking results.
The public approvals process for land use/zoning, energy, gaming and urban development can be a frustrating experience. For the past twelve years, Tom has been creating and executing successful political strategies for over 150 land use development projects in 22 states. In that time, he’s become an expert in understanding what moves elected officials to support one side over another, how to develop local support for our client’s projects and how to engage the community in ways that encourages everyone to fine common ground.
During breaks from his time in the public sector, Tom developed his approach to grassroots advocacy, political strategy and public affairs by serving as a strategist, consultant or field director on three mayoral campaigns, a governor’s campaign, two congressional campaigns, two U.S. Senate campaigns, three presidential campaigns and more than a dozen campaigns for local offices. He is still involved in numerous campaigns each year, providing guidance to friends and colleagues running at the state and local level.
Tom lives in Wellesley, Massachusetts with his wife and five children. During his free time, he enjoys golfing, running, skiing and coaching Little League. He serves on the Wellesley Middle School Council and despite all good sense, is a rabid fan of the New York Jets.
Many of these skills were developed on the campaign trail and working alongside some of the best public officials in the country. As Deputy Director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority under Mayor Thomas Menino, he successfully reconciled the interests and concerns of citizens and local businesses with those of developers of controversial real estate and industrial projects.
He also served as the city’s Director of Brownfields Redevelopment and was a member of the Massachusetts Brownfields Advisory Committee. Prior to that, Tom worked in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where he served as Chief of Staff to the Taxation Committee. While in this role, he worked to successfully develop broad-based support for legislation on brownfields cleanup and the deregulation of the electric utility industry.