Gov. Michael S. Dukakis nominated Theodore C. Landsmark, assistant director of external projects at Harvard, to the board of directors of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Wednesday, making him the first black ever nominated to the board.
The 14 Boston-area communities represented on the 79-member MBTA Advisory Board have 30 days in which to approve the nomination. If the communities take no action on Landsmark's nomination within that time, he will automatically be appointed to the MBTA board of directors.
Since he came to Harvard last February. Landsmark has worked primarily on the project, a 775-unit housing development in Harvard's medical area. Landsmark said he has attempted to reconcile the interests of the University with those of community groups concerned about the project.
Before coming to Harvard, Landsmark worked for two and a half years as the executive director of the Contractors' Association of Boston, an organization of minority contractors.
Landsmark gained world-wide publicity in 1976, when a group of youths, one of them carrying an American flag, attacked him on the Boston City Hall Plaza. A photograph of the incident was widely distributed by the news media.
Landsmark said yesterday that as a director of the MBTA board, he believed he would "be less involved in day-to-day operations than long-range policy making."
Landsmark said the governor is making an effort to use transit expenditures and private investment in ways that will foster community development.
In a press statement released Wednesday, Dukakis said Landsmark shared his belief that "the T must pay as much attention to community concerns as it has to improved operations and new construction."
L. Edward Lashman, director of external projects at Harvard, commenting on Landsmark's nomination, said yesterday, "I am just delighted. I think it was a superb choice by the governor."