Co-Chair, Political Parity

Kerry Healey headhsot

An academic by training, Dr. Healey is an internationally known and respected leader with nearly three decades experience in academia, government, and international diplomatic and humanitarian work. Widely published on criminal justice issues, Dr. Healey’s academic experience includes several teaching roles in which she helped students translate real-life lessons into knowledge in order to generate and advance change. Dr. Healey has been a Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics and Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership, and has taught or lectured at Rutgers University, Endicott College, and the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. Dr. Healey holds an A.B. in Government from Harvard College and a Ph.D. in Political Science and Law from Trinity College, Dublin.

Since serving as the 70th Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, Dr. Healey has led numerous diplomatic, humanitarian and philanthropic initiatives here in the U.S. and overseas. Her work has had a special focus on the welfare and advancement of women and children, including leading a national effort to reduce child homelessness for the National Center on Family Homelessness, bringing humanitarian aid to schools for the disabled in Cuba with ACESSO, co-chairing with Ambassador Swanee Hunt the Parity Project, a bi-partisan effort to increase women’s representation in high-level offices, and training female Afghan parliamentarians in Kabul for the International Republican Institute.

Her work took a new direction when she was appointed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as a founding member of the Executive Committee of the U.S. Department of State’s Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan (PPP), a position to which she was reappointed in 2009 by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. As Founder and President of the non-profit, which administers the PPP’s Afghan rule of law programs, Dr. Healey has assisted Afghan lawyers in attending top U.S. law schools to study human rights and commercial law and oversees offices in Kabul and Herat. Through the program, graduates and grantees work to promote rule of law, human rights, women’s rights, and provide legal aid. As a trustee of the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF), she has worked to establish a law school program in conjunction with Stanford Law School and to secure numerous scholarships for Afghan women. She has brought the PPP and AUAF together to start a new initiative that will provide legal advice to Afghan women entrepreneurs.

Further building her global presence and connections, she served as both domestic and foreign policy advisor to the Romney for President Campaign. As Foreign Policy Coordinator she recruited and assembled a team of 250 foreign policy experts and thought leaders from around world. Domestically, she led the effort to identify top candidates for domestic cabinet posts and presidential appointments. Dr. Healey also served as one of 11 National Finance Team Co-Chairs responsible for collectively raising an unprecedented $1 billion in support of Gov. Romney’s campaign. Dr. Healey has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations since 2005.

Raised in Florida, Dr. Healey attended Harvard College on a substantial scholarship going on to earn her Ph.D. at Trinity College, Dublin, as a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar. From an early age she understood the intrinsic link between education and opportunity and throughout her career has worked tirelessly to pursue excellence in education and support financial aid and scholarship programs for students. In fact, under the Romney-Healey Administration, Massachusetts’ schools were ranked No. 1 in the nation for the first time in both English and Math on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The Romney-Healey Administration also established the John and Abigail Adams Scholarships to provide greater access to public higher education for Massachusetts’ top students. Further, Dr. Healey led a bi-partisan effort with former State Senator Steven Tolman to found three Recovery High Schools to support education for formerly drug-addicted youths.

Dr. Healey assumed a broad range of responsibilities as Lt. Governor, including leading the administration’s successful efforts to combat drunken driving, address homelessness, and increase penalties for perpetrators of child abuse, gang violence, sexual assault and domestic violence. She was the point person responsible for working with mayors and town leaders in 351 municipalities. She also partnered with Gov. Romney to craft first in the nation health care reform legislation. Prior to entering public service, Dr. Healey worked for more than a decade as public policy consultant to the U.S. Department of Justice for the Cambridge-based think tank, Abt Associates, Inc.

Dr. Healey’s commitment to fighting homelessness, which began with her establishment of Massachusetts’ first Interagency Council on Homelessness, has been recognized both locally and nationally by Housing Families, Inc., Wellspring Inc. and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which awarded her the “A Home for Every American” Award in 2006. Her international humanitarian work has been recognized by the Red Cross (International Hero Award, 2012) and Empower Peace/Women2Women which honored her with the “Torchbearer Award” in 2011 for advancing the status of women worldwide.

Dr. Healey is a regular contributor to public radio, with commentaries appearing on WGBH’s Local Voices and WBUR’s Cognoscenti on-line opinion page. In 2010, she was the creator and host of Shining City, a television series showcasing New England’s cutting-edge scientific and social innovation which aired on NESN.

Dr. Healey and her husband, Sean, have two college-age children, Alex and Averill.