Marylou Sudders, MSW, ACSW

Secretary of Health and Human Services, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Marylou Sudders serves as Secretary of Health and Human Services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, overseeing 12 state agencies and the MassHealth program, with a combined budget of $26 billion and 22,000 public employees. EOHHS programs and services represent 56 percent of the state’s budget and provide treatment, care, and support to one in every three residents. 

Sudders never forgets that behind those numbers are the lives of individuals, families, and communities in need of support. She is a social worker committed to the health and well-being of Massachusetts residents, including addressing equity and reforming behavioral health care so that residents can access care where and when they need it.

In March 2020, Sudders was appointed by Governor Charlie Baker to lead the state’s COVID-19 Response Command Center. Under her leadership, Massachusetts stood up the most robust in-state testing capacity in the country, a nation-leading contact tracing program, and a nationally acclaimed data reporting system. Today, the state is a national leader in vaccine administration in every category. 

Since joining Governor Baker’s cabinet in January 2015, Sudders has advanced health policy and human services to meet the needs of Massachusetts residents, including restructuring MassHealth into a population-based health coverage system, reforming the child welfare system, combatting the opioid epidemic, addressing barriers in behavioral health care, and strengthening community-based services. 

Sudders chairs the Massachusetts Health Connector Board, the Autism Commission, and the Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund. She co-chairs the Governor’s Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness and the Governor’s Council to Address Optimal Aging. She is a member of the Health Policy Commission and the Governor's Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence.

Sudders has been a highly impactful leader in both the public and private sectors, including serving as the Massachusetts Commissioner of Mental Health, a non-profit CEO, and associate professor and program chair at Boston College School of Social Work. 

Sudders holds a bachelor’s degree with honors and a master’s degree in social work from Boston University, and honorary doctorates from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology and Bridgewater State University. She is the recipient of many civic, social work, and professional honors.

Executive Office of Health and Human Services  

The Executive Office of Health and Human Services is the largest secretariat in state government and is comprised of 12 agencies, in addition to 2 soldiers’ homes and the MassHealth program. Our efforts are focused on the health, resilience, and independence of the one in four residents of the Commonwealth we serve. Our public health programs touch every community in the Commonwealth.
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