Secretary of Health & Human Services
Appointed as Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) by Governor Charlie Baker in January 2015, Marylou Sudders leads the largest executive agency in state government, a $19.4 billion state budget with 22,000 dedicated public servants, and oversees critical services that touch one in four residents of the Commonwealth. Professionally trained as a social worker, Sudders has dedicated her life to public service and to some of our most vulnerable citizens. She has been a public official, provider executive, advocate and college professor.
She was the Massachusetts Commissioner of Mental Health from 1996 to 2003, championing significant legislative reforms including insurance parity, fundamental patient rights and the first children’s mental health commission. In 2012, Sudders was appointed to the state’s Health Policy Commission (HPC) for her behavioral health expertise; she remains on this important Commission in her capacity as Secretary.
For almost ten years, she headed the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, promoting the rights and well-being of some 24,000 children and families. Just prior to her appointment as Secretary, Sudders was an associate professor and Chair of Health and Mental Health at Boston College’s Graduate School of Social Work. Sudders has served on many charitable boards throughout her career, including the Pine Street Inn, Massachusetts Association for Mental Health and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Secretary Sudders’ talent and dedication has been recognized multiple times. She received an Honorary Doctorate from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology and was named Social Worker of the Year from the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. She was also nationally recognized with the Knee-Whitman Outstanding Achievement for Health & Mental Health Policy from the National Association of Social Workers Foundation.