Press Release

Press Release Governor Baker Appoints Two New Members and Designates Chairman to Board of Higher Education

For immediate release:
3/17/2015
  • Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
  • Governor's Press Office
  • Executive Office of Education
  • Department of Higher Education

Media Contact for Governor Baker Appoints Two New Members and Designates Chairman to Board of Higher Education

Brendan Moss, Press Secretary, Governor's Office

BOSTON — Governor Charlie Baker today announced the appointment of Chris Gabrieli and Dr. Sheila Harrity to the Board of Higher Education, and designated Mr. Gabrieli as the new Chairman.   

“These new Board members not only have practical experience as leaders in education, but also have a strong commitment to excellence in higher education in both academic and vocational fields,” said Governor Baker. “Chris Gabrieli’s background as an advocate for public education and an innovative social entrepreneur gives him first-hand insight into the challenges and opportunities to make positive change happen for students. I am proud of our Commonwealth’s world-class institutions of higher education and I’m confident that these new Board members will help ensure that our state and community colleges get the attention they deserve and continue to rise to the next level.”  

“I look forward to working with these top-notch education leaders who have made an impact both inside and outside of the classroom,” said Secretary of Education Jim Peyser. “The combination of their background in education as advocates, practitioners, and thought leaders will add great value to our ability to make a difference in the lives of the students and families.”

“I am delighted to welcome Chris Gabrieli to the Board,” said Richard M. Freeland, Commissioner of Higher Education. “He has a deserved reputation as an education reformer with a deep and personal commitment to students in the Commonwealth. I know him to be an innovative thinker who has worked very hard to give young people in urban districts more time to learn and more opportunities for academic success.”

Mr. Gabrieli and Dr. Harrity will replace Charles Desmond and Keith Peden.

"It is an honor serve in this role. This is a crucial moment for higher education as the stakes for students and our society are higher than ever, and there is pressing need and opportunity for transformative innovation to address access, cost and impact," said Chairman Gabrieli. "I share Governor Baker's goals of making higher education more affordable and better connected to both K-12 education and employers."

“I want to thank Dr. Desmond and Mr. Peden for their commitment and service to the Board and our Massachusetts education system,” said Governor Baker.

“I also want to thank our departing chair, Dr. Charles Desmond, for his service to the Board and his outstanding leadership across many areas, including the Vision Project, our strategic agenda for higher education, and especially, our work in teacher education,” said Freeland. Much of the progress we have made in public higher education in recent years is a reflection of Dr. Desmond's commitment to academic excellence at all our colleges and universities.” 

About Chris Gabrieli:

Chris Gabrieli is the co-founder of three non-profit education innovation and reform initiatives and a lecturer at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. As the co-founder of Massachusetts 2020/the National Center on Time & Learning, he has been at the forefront of the movement to expand learning time for disadvantaged students. He co-founded Empower Schools to align student results with community needs and is a Partner Emeritus at Bessemer Venture Partners where he started in the entrepreneurial healthcare software and biotechnology field. He has served in numerous higher education advisory board roles at Harvard HAA, Boston University’s School of Public Health and Clark University. 

About Dr. Sheila M. Harrity:

Dr. Sheila M. Harrity is the Superintendent of Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School District and a former Principal at Worcester Technical High School, where she was named the 2013 Massachusetts Principal of the Year, and 2014 National High School Principal of the Year. In 2013, the school received the National Blue Ribbon School distinction for outstanding student achievement by the U.S. Department of Education and was the only high school in the nation in 2014 to host President Obama as a commencement speaker. 

About the Board of Higher Education:

The mission of the Board of Higher Education is to ensure that Massachusetts residents have the opportunity to benefit from a higher education that enriches their lives and advances their contributions to the civic life, economic development, and social progress of the Commonwealth. To that end, the programs and services of Massachusetts higher education must meet standards of quality commensurate with the benefits it promises and must be truly accessible to the people of the Commonwealth in all their diversity.

For more information on the Board of Higher Education, please visit: http://www.mass.edu/bhe/aboutbhe.asp

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Media Contact for Governor Baker Appoints Two New Members and Designates Chairman to Board of Higher Education

Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito 

Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, and members of their administration are committed to making Massachusetts the best place to live, work, and raise a family.

Governor's Press Office 

Visit the Governor’s Press Office to learn about recent news from the administration, follow our happenings on social media, and for media contact information.

Executive Office of Education 

EOE oversees early childhood education and care, elementary and middle schools, high schools, and higher education.

Department of Higher Education 

The mission of the Board of Higher Education is to ensure that Massachusetts residents have the opportunity to benefit from a higher education that enriches their lives and advances their contributions to the civic life, economic development, and social progress of the Commonwealth. To that end, the programs and services of Massachusetts higher education must meet standards of quality commensurate with the benefits it promises and must be truly accessible to the people of the Commonwealth in all their diversity.

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