By Daniel Etchells

Richard Davey is the new Boston 2024 chief executive ©WikipediaBoston 2024 has appointed Richard Davey, the former Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation, as its new chief executive.

Davey, who replaces Daniel O'Connell, will head the United States city's two-and-a-half year campaign to secure hosting rights for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"This is a terrific opportunity to build upon all the great work and planning that has already been done," Davey said in a statement.

"But in many ways, this is just the beginning.

"Over the next year, we will be in every community in Boston, and in every region of the state, to get the thoughts and input of the public on what a 2024 Games would look like and the kind of legacy it could and should leave for Massachusetts."

In his role as Secretary of Transportation, a position he held from 2011 to 2014, Davey worked on several transit projects considered to be of key importance to Boston's bid, and before that he was general manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

Boston was selected as the US' candidate city earlier this month by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), after seeing off competition from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC.

This was despite opposition from groups such as "No Boston Olympics", which claim that staging the Games will be costly for tax payers.

John Fish, chairman of Boston 2024, says Richard Davey is the perfect fit as the new chief executive of the bid ©Getty ImagesJohn Fish, chairman of Boston 2024, says Richard Davey is the perfect fit as the new chief executive of the bid ©Getty Images

Davey will now be tasked with building public support for the bid with a recent poll, conducted by independent company Sage Consulting, showing that 40 per cent of Massachusetts residents are against it. 

The poll, which surveyed 1,600 residents, also showed that 61 per cent would be in opposition if "tax dollars" - which can be taken to mean public funding - are used.

Despite this, John Fish, chairman of Boston 2024, is confident that Davey is the right man to build on the success of his predecessor O'Connell. 

"Rich Davey is the perfect fit to continue the work that Dan helped launch," Fish said.

"His reputation for smart, innovative leadership and management of large and complex transportation systems and projects will be indispensable as we enter this next stage of our efforts."

O'Connell will remain a member of the Boston 2024 Executive Committee but did not want to commit to the extensive task of winning over global support from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

"Working with the team to craft the initial proposal and to win the support and confidence of the USOC is one of the proudest moments of my career," he said.

"Rich will now grab the baton for the next two years, and I look forward to working with him to bring the Games to Boston."

The IOC will announce the host city of the 2024 Games in the summer of 2017 at its 130th Session in Lima, Peru.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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