WEMO luncheon speaker: Maura Healey
Ballroom C, 3rd floor, Hynes Convention Center
Maura Healey served in the attorney general’s office for six years under Martha Coakley before being elected to the position by a wide margin in the fall of 2014, her first campaign for elected office.
Since taking office, Healey has focused on issues including the heroin and prescription drug abuse epidemic, escalating health care costs, worker’s rights, and student loan costs. She is working to strengthen consumer protections and improve the state’s criminal justice system.
Last May, Healey launched the Community Engagement Division, which brings the attorney general’s office into neighborhoods and communities across the state. The division holds community office hours and has assisted with the rollout of several policy initiatives, including the earned sick time law and the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights.
Healey is an advocate for an equal and inclusive workplace, and her office is the first state agency to offer paid parental leave, providing six weeks of paid family leave for all employees.
As the former head of the attorney general office’s Civil Rights Division, Healey led the state’s successful challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act and argued the case in federal court. As attorney general, she has advocated for marriage equality and legislation to fight discrimination against transgender people.
Under Attorney General Coakley, Healey also served as chief of the Public Protection and Business and Labor bureaus. In those roles, she defended the state’s buffer zone law, which protects women from being harassed at reproductive health care centers. She also shut down predatory lenders and oversaw a team that has worked with homeowners to help make their loans affordable. The program has gotten banks to modify thousands of home mortgages and stop hundreds of foreclosures.
Healey graduated from Harvard College in 1992 and was captain of the women’s basketball team. She played professional basketball in Europe for two years before returning to Massachusetts to attend Northeastern University School of Law.
Early in her career, Healey clerked for Judge David Mazzone in the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts. Healey was then a junior partner at the international law firm Wilmer Hale (formerly Hale and Dorr), where she represented clients in the financial services, pharmaceutical, medical device, software, energy, biotechnology and professional sports sectors.
She is a former special assistant district attorney in Middlesex County, where she tried drug, assault, domestic violence and motor vehicle cases.
In 2010, Healey was awarded the American Constitution Society’s Award for Public Service, and in 2012, she received the Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association’s Kevin Larkin Memorial Award for Public Service. She has also been honored by the Boston Bar Association for her work on the challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act and has been awarded the Equal Justice Coalition’s Award for Legal Aid.
In 2006, she was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame.
Healey, 44, is the oldest of five brothers and sisters, and her family roots are in Newburyport and the North Shore. She lives in Charlestown with her partner, Gabrielle Wolohojian.
- Written by MMA Publications Editor & Web Director John Ouellette