Lt. Governor of Massachusetts Encourages Future Public Service

On Tuesday April 6th, the HBS Republican Club organized a talk by the current Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, Kerry Healey (R), to advise students on entering public service and politics in the future. The topics of her talk ranged from how and when to get involved in public service, her own career, and how to balance public service, a private sector career and family life.

Prior to her election, Healey, 43, served as Chair of the Massachusetts Republican Party, where she restored the party’s finances and helped energize the grassroots. She has published four books and authored several articles. She was on the adjunct faculty at Endicott College and University of Massachusetts in Lowell. For almost a decade, Healey worked as a consultant for Abt Associates in Cambridge in law and public safety.

She encouraged students to get involved in politics or public service at the grassroots or gain experiences on campaigns. Some specific suggestions for being involved in politics included joining local political campaigns and getting involved in party fundraising where you get to know people and discover where you might want to fit in. In the current administration of Governor Mitt Romney (R) one of their most critical issue is exploding healthcare costs and how to make sure everyone has adequate access to healthcare.

She described one of the keys to running for political office as being cheery and thick-skinned. Healey herself had run for state representative in the past and had lost to local opponents. In the years between running for office and taking time off to have kids, Healey offered sound advice to career women. “Plan your career…get and maintain your credentials [while not working].” Too often Healey said she saw brilliant career women have gaps in their resume during the years they took off to have kids, only to find it very difficult to convince employers that their skills had not atrophied and they were recommitted to a career. Healey herself made sure she kept busy by becoming an adjunct professor at local colleges, writing articles and books, all while taking take of her young kids. In addition to advice on entering local political life, she encouraged students to become involved in social programs that interest them.

Healey graduated from Harvard College in 1982, and has a PhD in political science and law from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. She and her husband have two school-aged children.