Mark Forest is a long time resident of South Yarmouth. He is the former Chief of Staff to both Congressman Gerry Studds & Bill Delahunt. He began his career as the Assistant Town Manager in Provincetown. Mark is currently a development consultant with The Delahunt Group, working with government on the planning, permitting and funding of large public works projects. He also teaches American Government and International Relations at Cape Cod Community College. Mark serves on the Yarmouth Conservation Trust, & is the current Chairman of the Cape Cod conservation District. Mark’s experience in local government, planning and economic development makes him a welcome addition to FORWARD’s Advisory Board.
His professional career started in 1981 on Cape Cod – in the Provincetown Town Manager’s office — where he secured and managed numerous federal and state grants. While in Provincetown he coordinated the planning and funding for the redevelopment of MacMillan Wharf, the hub of the Cape’s tip’s fishing and whale-watching industries. He also secured funds for a number of projects, including grants to upgrade the town’s aging water system, funds to clean up groundwater contamination threatening the town’s water supplies, housing rehabilitation and community development. While in Provincetown he served on several county boards and commissions. He is a co-founder of the Community Development Partnership, a community development corporation based in Eastham.
In 1985, Mark joined the staff of Congressman Gerry E. Studds, where he managed his Cape and Islands office, advised on a range of public policy issues, and represented the Congressman at numerous events. Forest worked closely with the Congressman on the designation of Stellwagen Bank National as a Marine Sanctuary, the creation of the Waquoit Bay National Research Reserve, and the Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge.
During his tenure with Studds, Forest helped secure funds for the establishment of a manufacturing extension service in Massachusetts to boost the manufacturing sector of the state’s economy. He helped create a business network of ocean technology companies, brought “Coastal America” wetlands restoration funding to region and assisted communities in securing funds for dredging and other port improvements aimed at sustaining the commercial fishing and aquaculture industry. Forest also worked with the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce to secure capital funding to help small business start-ups. In the early 1990s, he coordinated federal and state efforts to fund the relocation and restoration of Highland Light and Nauset Lighthouse.