By David Wade

BOSTON (CBS) – Dan Koh has a good title.

But for now, let’s just call him “local kid.”

Dan grew up in Andover, the middle child of a Lebanese mom and a Korean dad, who was the state’s public health commissioner which got Dan a pretty cool assignment.

“My first job as a 13-year old was doing sting operations in my town to buy cigarettes,” he told WBZ-TV.

But in school, Koh was struggling.

“I had a lot of trouble focusing in school, couldn’t learn vocabulary and had a hard time sitting down to read,” he said.

Read: Koh Proposes At Boston Marathon

At 14 he was told he had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

“It was very stigmatized. If you were the kid with ADHD you were the kid with no future, the kid who couldn’t focus, the special kid,” he said.

Koh started taking Adderall.

“I would literally go into the bathroom and hide and take my pill because Ii didn’t want anyone to know I was on it,” he told us.

It worked.

He went on to Harvard, and then Harvard Business School, before working for Arianna Huffington at the Huffington Post.

Dan Koh's autographed photo with Arianna Huffington. (WBZ-TV)

Dan Koh’s autographed photo with Arianna Huffington. (WBZ-TV)

Then, two years ago, at age 29, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh gave “local kid” another cool title – Chief of Staff.

“He has a different approach to things. He’s a millennial, he’s younger, brings new energy to the office. He was really excited about it, really persistent about it. I knew that we would fit well together, I didn’t realize how well we’d fit together, but I knew we’d have a good fit and it certainly has worked out for the best,” Walsh told WBZ.

Marty Walsh and Dan Koh. (WBZ-TV)

Marty Walsh and Dan Koh. (WBZ-TV)

Political lovefests don’t last without success.

So Koh, is stepping up to the plate.

His love for baseball inspired his new brainchild – City Score.

It provides advanced statistics on a couple dozen city services, like fighting crime and how fast are they filling potholes. It’s updated constantly and posted online for anyone to see.



“We’re rolling that up into a single score that’s basic. Anything above one means we are exceeding our targets, anything below one, we need improvement,” Koh said, adding that it allows the administration to be more transparent with the public.

Building a better Boston is the focus of man who once had a hard time focusing at all, which brings us to one more title – motivational speaker at local schools.

Dan Koh with President Obama. (WBZ-TV)

Dan Koh with President Obama. (WBZ-TV)

“When you get into a classroom it’s easy to look at the kids in the front of the classroom with the good posture and say ‘those are going to be the successful ones and those are the kids I’m going to focus on.’ but I said ‘look at the kids in the back and don’t see slackers or kids who can’t pay attention. Look at them as potential,” Koh said.

David Wade

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