Profile: Anne Cahill

Anne Cahill has been the director of finance and grants for the Engagement Lab and Emerson LAUNCH for two years. The Engagement Lab is an applied research lab that works directly with partner communities to innovate civic engagement processes, augment stakeholder deliberation, and broaden the diversity of participants in local decision-making. Emerson LAUNCH empowers student entrepreneurs via mentorship, space, and funding to build the world’s next great media and communication companies.

As director, Cahill oversees all financial operations, including the management of institutional funding and external grants for both programs. Because all grants have allowability, accountability, and applicability rules that need to be followed, she analyzes the grants and decides how the money should be spent and monitors the expenditures throughout each grant’s life cycle. At the end of each grant’s cycle, she reconciles the expenditures so they equal the awarded amount.

She works with many departments, including Finance, Payroll, Research and Creative Scholarship, and Academic Affairs. She also assists in the submission of new grant proposals, oversees all HR operations in the lab, and helps the lab director with the formulation of the lab’s overall strategic direction and business plan. She oversees anything administrative, acting as a resource for Emerson policies and procedures.

When asked what she enjoys most about working at Emerson, she said that she enjoys collaborating with departments across the College. She said, “It is rewarding to work toward a goal and to engage with all different kinds of people to achieve that goal.” She also likes working with all the faculty and staff of the Engagement Lab. The lab currently has four professors, five full-time staff, nine graduate students, and three undergrads.

Prior to Emerson, Cahill worked in the philanthropy department at Lahey Health. But the majority of her career has been in a higher education setting—she started working with grants about 18 years ago at Harvard and MIT.

Cahill grew up in Oswego, NY, a small city in Central New York on Lake Ontario. Her father was a commercial fisherman by trade and her family owned a fish market and restaurant in Oswego for 75 years. She started working in the fish market when she was 9 years old, washing fish tins for two dollars a night. By the time she was 12, she was running the cash register alongside her mother. She continued working in the family business into her 30s, which is when she decided to move to Boston. She graduated from Lesley University with a BA in business management.

She currently lives in Revere, MA, with her two dogs, Lulu and Bella—both of whom are “her pride and joy.” In her spare time, she stays busy reading and going on nature walks. Two of her favorite places to walk are the Marginal Way in Ogunquit, Maine, and the beaches in Provincetown. She also likes to attend theater performances, sporting events, and concerts. Melissa Etheridge is one of her favorite musicians; she sees her at least twice per year and has seen her in six different states.

Nancy Howell (Marketing)