Elizabeth Chen, PhD, MBA, MPH

Secretary of Elder Affairs

Elizabeth Chen began her tenure as Secretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) on June 3, 2019.  At EOEA, she leads an agency whose mission is to promote the independence, empowerment, and well-being of older people, individuals with disabilities, and their families.

With a budget of more than $540 million, EOEA funds a network of community-based services that help older adults age and thrive in cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth. Those services includes in-home supportive care, family caregiver support, nutrition programs, protective services, supportive housing options, long-term care counseling and advocacy, health insurance counseling and prescription drug coverage assistance, access to dementia and behavioral health support services, assisted living residence certification and information, along with a variety of other programs and services.

Dr. Chen previously served as an Assistant Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) where she was responsible for overseeing bureaus and programs that promote safety and quality health care for all residents of the Commonwealth. At DPH, she oversaw the licensing of over 300,000 health care professionals and over 4,500 hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, ambulances and other mobile care units.  

Additionally, she led the Determination of Need Program (DoN) a goal of which is to improve the public and population health aspects of our care delivery system.  The DoN program seeks to promote equity, and advance the Commonwealth’s goals for cost containment and improved public health outcomes in response to significant transformations proposed by health care facilities and systems, such as mergers, transfers of ownership, and substantial capital investment. 

Prior to DPH, Dr. Chen served as President and Trustee of the New England College of Optometry and New England Eye Institute. She has also served as President and CEO of biotech companies, Circe Biomedical and Marathon Biopharmaceuticals. Her academic work focuses on advance care planning when facing late-stage chronic illness.

A resident of Lexington, Dr. Chen has a BA from Yale University; an MBA from University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School; and, an MPH from Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She received her PhD in Gerontology from the University of Massachusetts’ McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies.

  • Executive Office of Elder Affairs  

    The Executive Office of Elder Affairs envisions a state in which every person has the tools, resources, and support they need to fully embrace the aging experience. Together, we support aging adults to live and thrive, safely and independently— how and where they want.
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