BOSTON -- Former Fall River mayor Edward M. Lambert Jr. is the new executive director of the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education.

Lambert most recently served as the vice chancellor for government relations and public affairs at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Previously, Lambert was commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and founding executive director of the Urban Initiative at UMASS Dartmouth, a research center focused on strengthening the state’s urban, industrial communities.

Lambert served as the mayor of Fall River from 1996 to 2007 and represented Fall River and Westport in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He was previously a member of the Fall River School Committee.

“Ed’s unique experience at the intersection of policy and education combined with his deep understanding of the challenges facing our gateway cities makes him the right leader at the right time for MBAE to move our policy agenda forward,” said William J. Walczak, chairman of the board of MBAE. “The business community’s voice on education policy is as important as ever as the availability of a qualified workforce continues to be a top concern of employers across the state. Ed will continue MBAE’s mission to ensure the state fulfills its obligation to provide every student a high quality education that prepares them to successfully join the workforce and become a thriving citizen.”

This legislative session, MBAE is focused on ensuring any increase in school funding is used to close persistent equity gaps that for too long have held back students from our most disadvantaged communities, as well as creating career paths for all students to the workforce by providing them opportunities to earn high value, high demand credentials.

“MBAE has consistently called on state leaders to set the nation’s highest standards for public education,” Lambert said. “I am truly pleased to be joining such an important organization at a critical moment in the future of our education system.”

The Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education was founded in 1988 by employers concerned about the educational attainment and skills of graduates entering the workforce.