What: A discussion with Dr. Jennifer M. Callahan – State Representative, Massachusetts General Court (2003-11)
When: September 28, 2011 @ 12PM – 1PM
Where: Pound 204.
Dr. Jennifer M. Callahan
State Representative, Massachusetts General Court (2003-11)
Dr. Jennifer Callahan has had a long history of public service at the municipal and state levels of government. In 2002, she was the first woman elected to serve in the Massachusetts House of Representatives for the 18th Worcester District. She went on to serve four consecutive terms in the Legislature under three different House Speakers. She was appointed to a number of important Joint Committees including Higher Education, Public Health, Community Development & Small Business and Commerce & Labor. She served on multiple legislative caucuses as well as the Nat’l Foundation for Women Legislators, Nat’l Conference of State Legislatures and Women in Government Foundation.
Legislatively, Representative Callahan was considered a tenacious policy maverick by constituents and colleagues alike for being an independent voter and strong voice on behalf of her District. The Boston Globe noted her as one of Beacon Hill’s ‘Brave Souls’ in her stands against House Leaders in the name of restoring the public’s trust. Statewide, she was considered a leader for her work on ethics reform and increased government accountability. She led the charge for transparency on Beacon Hill, before it was politically expedient to do so, having filed and pushed a series of comprehensive reform bills and open government legislation. She was the only legislator to testify before the Governor’s Task Force on Public Integrity and repeatedly stood up on the House floor to fight for important changes on how legislative business is conducted on behalf of the people of the Commonwealth. She is also known as a policy leader on variety of economic development, healthcare, education and animal cruelty issues. Prior to serving in the Massachusetts General Court, she was elected as both a Selectman and School Official for the Town of Sutton.
She holds a Doctorate in Higher Education Policy Research and Administration and a Masters of Public Health from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She was a Case University Scholar at Boston University where she received both a Bachelors of Science in Nursing and a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology. She has also been a licensed Registered Nurse, Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Nursing at the University of Massachusetts Worcester and a nationally Certified Health Education Specialist for many years. She was a former senior advisor and quality expert for system-wide clinical performance improvement, service outcomes and strategic planning at a major academic medical institution.
She has received many notable legislative and community service commendations for outstanding leadership, including those for her enduring commitment to hunger relief. She and her husband Michael have been lifelong residents of the Blackstone Valley, where she was raised on an apple orchard as a first generation immigrant daughter in a family of six children.