Setti Warren was born and raised in Newton where he attended Bigelow Junior High and Newton North High School. He first became involved in public service when, as a freshman, he was elected class president -- a post he held for four years. As a sophomore at Boston College, Setti became the second African American to be elected student body president in the college's history.
As a junior at Newton North, Setti was asked by Mayor Ted Mann to bring racial and ethnic harmony to the school after a clash between rival groups. In 1997, Setti was awarded the Human Rights Award and subsequently had December 17 declared "Setti Warren Day" by Newton Mayor Thomas Concannon in recognition of his outstanding work as Vice-Chair of the City of Newton's Foundation for Ethnic, Racial, and Religious Equality.
Setti was a founding member of Newton's Community Preservation Committee in 2002 and served as its spokesperson. During his tenure, more than $9 million in state funding was used to build affordable housing and preserve open spaces like Christina Street and Angino Community Farm.
After graduating from Boston College, Setti began an extensive career in public service:
As Special Assistant in the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs for President Clinton, Setti worked with the offices of the Attorney General, the Department of Treasury, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Small Business Administration.
As New England Director of FEMA, Setti managed a staff and a significant budget. In this capacity he worked closely with local mayors, members of Congress and governors to administer vital and effective FEMA programs and deliver resources to cities and towns throughout New England.
As Deputy State Director for Senator Kerry, Setti was his point person on small business and economic development, bringing federal assistance to cities and towns across the Commonwealth.
Prior to running for Mayor, Setti completed a year-long tour of duty in Iraq as a Naval Intelligence Specialist.
Setti Warren was elected Mayor of Newton on November 3, 2009.