Mayor's Biography

Mayor Dominick Pangallo

Dominick Pangallo grew up in Salem and today is raising his own family in the same North Salem neighborhood where he and his brother grew up. His mother Karen was a librarian at Saltonstall School before becoming Library Director at North Shore Community College, and his father Sal was a public school teacher in Marblehead and a coach at Salem High School, where he was inducted into the Salem High School Hall of Fame.

A public school graduate, Dominick went on to attend Bates College, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in political science and theater. While he was at Bates he also met and fell in love with Kristin and the two married in 2007.

After college, Dominick ran John Keenan’s campaign for State Representative in Salem, and then went on to work for Representative Keenan as his legislative aide, serving the people of Salem by helping them navigate state agencies and services, drafting legislation to strengthen the community, and providing constituent services to residents. While he worked at the State House during the day, Dominick put himself through Suffolk University at night, earning two Master’s degrees – one in political science and one in public administration, with a concentration in management in state and local government. From the State House Dominick went to work for the Peabody Essex Museum as interim Public Relations Manager.

Kristin and Dominick left Salem for a while for Kristin’s work as a college professor of chemistry and environmental sciences. While Kristin taught, Dominick spent a few years as an at-home dad with their first child before joining the Partnership for Community Development, a regional community development agency, as the organization’s Development and Marketing Director. There he led the agency’s work to establish a small business resource center for the region, organized and promoted community events and festivals, and pursued grant opportunities.

In early 2013, former Mayor Kim Driscoll of Salem reached out to Dominick with an invitation to return to his hometown and join the team at City Hall as Chief of Staff. Dominick and Kristin jumped at the chance to return to the city they both love and to raise their children in a diverse and vibrant community. Today both of their children are proud and happy Salem Public School students, and Kristin is a professor at Salem State University.

As Chief of Staff for Salem from 2013 until 2023, Dominick was a professional leader and manager for the city, overseeing the daily operation of City government and striving to improve the delivery of local services to make City Hall work better for everyone. He helped create policies, ordinances, budgets, and new initiatives, partnered with City staff, elected officials, and residents to solve problems, and worked to make a positive difference in the daily lives of his neighbors around the city.

In that decade of service, Dominick delivered real results and advanced policies on everything from better and more transparent government to professional fiscal management. He worked to find solutions to housing affordability, to ensure robust transportation options throughout the city, and to take meaningful action on the climate crisis at the local level. In all these efforts, Dominick has focused intentionally on equity and inclusion.

During the pandemic, Dominick was a central member of the City’s COVID response team, serving as the city’s public information officer, coordinating efforts on testing and vaccinations, and keeping residents connected to essential public services and their community during a time of tremendous upheaval and uncertainty.

As chair of the City’s Neighborhood Improvement Advisory Council, he worked for a decade to find solutions to neighborhood challenges and problems, from the small to the complex. He served as chair of the Salem Retirement Board, helping successfully lead a quarter-billion-dollar system that thousands of Salem retirees and their families depend upon. As co-chair of Salem for All Ages – the City’s AARP-affiliated age-friendly city initiative – he has created policies and programs that help older adults in Salem age in place, here in the city that they love.

When Mayor Driscoll exited office, Dominick entered the special election for Mayor. He ran to keep Salem moving forward and to build on the foundation that had been created over the previous years’ work. Running on a platform of professionalism and inclusive, thoughtful leadership, Dominick topped the ticket in the preliminary election and won the final election to become Salem’s 52nd Mayor.

Mayor Pangallo chairs the Salem School Committee and the Salem Public Library Board of Trustees, and serves as a member of the Commonwealth's Seaport Economic Council. He is also a member of the Salem Affordable Housing Trust Fund Board, the Board of Trust Fund Commissioners, and the Salem Harbor Port Authority. He is a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the Massachusetts Mayors Association, the Northeast Government Executives Council, the North Shore Task Force, the Mayors' Alliance to End Childhood Hunger, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and Climate Mayors. Mayor Pangallo serves on the Massachusetts Municipal Association's Policy Committee on Personnel and Labor Relations.