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My Story

Pavel Payano is one of Lawrence’s young, talented, and driven individual. His family came to Lawrence in the late 80s in search of the American dream. For the past several decades his parents worked as teachers in the Lawrence Public Schools. They taught him the importance of hard work, the value of an education, and a commitment to serving others.

Pavel demonstrated these values at a young age, graduating from the Robert Frost School and Lawrence High School with honors. He got his first job at the age of 15 serving as an aide to the Recycling Coordinator at Lawrence’s Department of Public Work.

In 2006, Pavel received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. While in college he served as President of the UMass Student Government overseeing a $1.8 million student activity budget and he led efforts to establish Student Bridges, an organization dedicated to support urban college students and advocate on issues dealing with affordability and accessibility in Higher Education.

Since then he served in several roles such as Special Assistant to Congresswoman Tsongas, where he worked on economic development and helped advocate for constituents with issues with the IRS and Social Security. During our most recent financial crash, Pavel worked as a social worker to the Department of Transitional Assistance where he experienced firsthand the flaws of our outdated welfare system and saw how poor economic opportunities can affect the thousands of hardworking families that make Lawrence their home.

In 2011, after receiving a Masters in Public Affairs from the University of Massachusetts Boston, he took on the role of Project Manager for the Merrimack Valley Sandbox Initiative.  This initiative was a collaboration between UMass Lowell's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Deshpande Foundation, which sought to increase leadership and entrepreneurship in the Lawrence and Lowell area. As Program Manager, he helped establish the Mill City Leadership Institute which offers professional and leadership development to workers in both the private and non-profit sector.

As senior member of the Lawrence School Committee he advocated for initiatives that lower the achievement gap and increase enrollment in higher education.

He is an active board member of the Greater Lawrence Summer Fund which allocates funding to summer programs in Lawrence. He is also the President and Founder of the Greater Lawrence Young Professionals Network, an organization whose mission is to attract, retain, and engage young professionals in the Lawrence area. 

After graduating from Suffolk University Law School he became an Adjunct Professor at Merrimack College and he serves as the Director of Operations for ALPFA, a non-profit organization charged with expanding opportunities for leaders in the global market.

He then served as the Director of  ALPFA, Inc.'s Boston Chapter where he works to empower and develop the over 6,000 professional men and women to be leaders of character for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 



1998 - Robert Frost Middle School 

2002 - Lawrence High School

2006 - BA in Political Science from University of Massachusetts Amherst

2011 - Master of Public Affairs from University of Massachusetts Boston

2015 - Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School

Professional Experience

2017 - Lawrence City Councilor-At Large: Chairman, Public Safety Committee; Member, Housing Committee; Member, Budget Committee.

2016 - Director of ALPFA Boston

2015 - Adjunct Professor, Merrimack College

2015 - Board Member, Lawrence Family Development, Inc.

2014 - Board Member, Greater Lawrence Summer Fund

2011 - Project Manager, Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, UMass Lowell

2011 - School Committee Member (Vice Chair 2012-2014), Lawrence Public Schools

2010 - Founding President, Greater Lawrence Young Professionals Network

2009 - Social Worker, Department of Transitional Assistance

2007 - Special Assistant, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas