For Immediate Release - July 21, 2011

Secretary Bigby Appoints Christine Griffin as Assistant Secretary for Disability Policies and Programs

BOSTON - Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. JudyAnn Bigby announced today that she has appointed Christine Griffin as Assistant Secretary for Disability Policies and Programs. Most recently, Ms. Griffin served as Deputy Director of the United States Office of Personnel Management, where, among other initiatives, she led the creation and development of a government-wide strategic plan for diversity and inclusion within the federal workforce. From January 2005 until December 2009, she was a Commissioner on the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Ms. Griffin will assume her new role on August 29.

"Christine Griffin is a national leader in disability policy who will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to her work as Assistant Secretary," said Governor Deval Patrick. "She has demonstrated a profound commitment to promoting the abilities, rights and independence of people with disabilities, and I thank her for her willingness to serve the Commonwealth in this important role."

"I am excited about the vision and leadership that Christine Griffin will bring to the important work that we do on behalf of the diverse communities served by our agencies," said Secretary Bigby. "With more than 16 years of executive experience leading non-profit, state and federal agencies, her knowledge and background will be instrumental to advancing this Administration's commitment to 'Community First,' wellness, independence, self-sufficiency for people with disabilities."

Ms. Griffin brings to the Executive Office of Health and Human Services an extensive history of work in disability across public and private sectors. As Deputy Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, she was responsible for the federal agencies implementation of President Obama's Executive Order on Increasing Employment of Individuals with Disabilities in the Federal Workforce, planned and implemented the first federal hiring event for people with disabilities and oversaw the creation of a newly established Government-wide Diversity and Inclusion Office.

As a Commissioner on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, she oversaw the development of enforcement policies and planned and presided over public EEOC hearings and investigations of federal employee complaints. She also established the LEAD (Leadership for Employment of Americans with Disabilities) Initiative, a national outreach and education campaign to address the declining number of federal employees with severe disabilities.

"I am grateful to Governor Patrick for this opportunity to return to Massachusetts to serve and work with the Commonwealth's disability community," said Christine Griffin. "Under Secretary Bigby's leadership, an amazing team of professionals have been working to ensure that people with disabilities have the right to live, work and play in the community, and I am honored to join that team."

Ms. Griffin also served as Executive Director of the Boston-based Disability Law Center from 1996 until 2005 and was responsible for the overall management of the organization, including short- and long-term programmatic and financial planning, priority setting and implementation, and contract oversight. She provided capable leadership on a range of policy issues and participated in the legislative and political process on behalf of a culturally diverse constituency. She has also been a member of the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council; the Board of the Easter Seals Massachusetts; the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education; and the Board of Directors of the New England Paralyzed Veterans of America. She has also been a Trustee of the Paralyzed Veterans of America Spinal Cord Research Foundation and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

"Christine Griffin will bring to the position of Assistant Secretary a passion for the work, a big picture view, and an understanding that enhancing the independence, productivity, and dignity of people with disabilities requires tackling barriers to employment, housing, and health care, among many things," said Bill Henning, Executive Director of the Boston Center for Independent Living, "She will give great energy to the principles of inclusiveness and leadership that the Patrick-Murray Administration champions."

In her new role, Ms. Griffin will oversee the Department of Developmental Services, the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and the Soldiers' Homes in Chelsea and Holyoke. Additionally, she will have cross-Secretariat responsibility for disability related policies and programs.

Ms. Griffin served on active duty in the United States Army from 1974 until 1977 and on reserve duty until 1979. She holds a law degree from Boston College and earned her undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

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