STEM Nexus: Connecting Massachusetts' STEM Community

Governor's STEM Advisory Council Members

Ex Officio Members


Joseph P. Kennedy III, Congressman, Honorary Chairman of the STEM Advisory Council (Biography)*
Jeffrey Leiden, M.D., Ph.D, Chairman, President and CEO, Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Biography)*

Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing & Economic Development
Mitchell Chester, Commissioner, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Richard M. Freeland, Commissioner, Department of Higher Education
James Peyser, Secretary of Education
Ronald L. Walker, Secretary of Labor & Workforce Development
Thomas L. Weber, Commissioner, Department of Early Education and Care

Legislative Members

Sonia Chang-Diaz, State Senator, Chair of the Joint Committee on Education
Alice Peisch, State Representative, Chair of the Joint Committee on Education
Daniel Wolf, State Senator, Chair of the Joint Committee on Labor & Workforce Development


Alicia Barton, CEO, MA Clean Energy Center
James Brosnan, Superintendent, Northern Berkshire Vocational Regional School District*
Robert Caret, President, University of Massachusetts
Nadia Chamblin-Foster, Director, Steps to Success
J.D. Chesloff, Executive Director, Massachusetts Business Roundtable*
Joseph Dorant, Chair, MA Organization of State Engineers & Scientists
Pamela Goldberg, CEO, MA Technology Collaborative
John Hodgman, Professor of the Practice, Tufts University*
Monica Joslin, Dean of Academic Affairs, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA)
Joyce Kressler, Director, EcoTarium
Debbie Lacy, Parent Representative
Laurie Leshin, President, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)
Anne Marie Levins, Associate General Council, Microsoft
Michael Looney, Curriculum Chair, Technology Department, Mashpee Public Schools
Patricia Meservey, President, Salem State University
Reinier Moquete, CEO at Advoqt Technology Group and Co-Founder of Latino STEM Alliance
Timothy Murray, CEO, Worcester Chamber of Commerce
Joyce L. Plotkin, President, The DIGITS Project*
Marcy Reed, Senior Vice President, National Grid
Ira Rubenzahl, President, Springfield Technical Community College (STCC)
Kenneth Salim, Superintendent, Weymouth
Douglas Scott, Science Teacher, Natick High School
Ellen Spear, President & CEO, Heritage Museums & Gardens
Yvonne Spicer, Vice President-Advocacy for Educational Partnerships, Museum of Science*
Michael Tamasi, President and CEO, AccuRounds
Steve Vinter, Engineering and Site Director, Google Inc.
Susan Windham-Bannister, President and CEO, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center

* denotes membership on Council’s Executive Committee

Senior Advisor

David Cedrone, Associate Commissioner for Economic and Workforce Development and STEM at the Dept. of Higher Education

STEM Advisory Council Staff

Allison Scheff, Executive Director of STEM at the Department of Higher Education and the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council
Keith Connors, Senior Program Manager of the STEM Pipeline Fund

The Office of Congressman Kennedy Staff

Emily Browne, Director of Communications
Nick Clemons, District Director
Eric Fins, Senior Legislative Assistant

Vertex Pharmaceutical Staff

Marnie Burke, Associate Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy

STEM Council Co-Chairs

Congressman Joe Kennedy

Congressman Kennedy

Sworn in as Honorary Co-Chair in May 2013, Congressman Kennedy serves the Fourth District of Massachusetts in Congress. Having dedicated his career to public service, Joe brings a firm commitment to social justice and economic opportunity to the U.S. House of Representatives. Elected in November of 2012, he represents a diverse district that spans from the suburbs of Boston to the more industrial towns of Massachusetts’ South Coast.

Prior to seeking office, Joe served the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as an Assistant District Attorney in both the Middlesex County and Cape and Island’s District Attorneys’ Offices. A graduate of Harvard Law, he was an active member of the school’s Legal Aid Bureau – a pro-bono law firm that provided legal services to low-income families around Boston. During that time he also co-founded an afterschool program for at-risk youth in the Boston area with his wife, Lauren.

Earlier in his career Joe served as a member of the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic where he designed and implemented an economic development project that helped create jobs and increase the standard of living in an isolated community near Puerto Plata. Joe has also worked as an international development analyst for the United Nations’ Millennium Project and as an anti-poverty consultant abroad. He is fluent in Spanish and currently sits on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, as well as the House Committee on Science and Technology.

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Joe holds a bachelors degree in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University. (source)

Jeffrey Leiden, M.D., Ph.D

Jeffrey Leiden

Dr. Leiden is the Chairman, President and CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals. He has served as a member of Vertex's board of directors since 2009. Dr. Leiden has more than 20 years of scientific, commercial and financial experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries as well as clinical and scientific experience in academia as a practicing cardiologist and molecular biologist.

Prior to joining Vertex, Dr. Leiden was a Managing Director for Clarus Ventures, a life sciences venture capital firm he joined in 2006. From 2000 to 2006, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Scientific Officer, at Abbott Laboratories where he had responsibility for running Abbott’s global pharmaceuticals business. While at Abbott, Dr. Leiden helped launch multiple breakthrough medicines, including Humira for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases and Kaletra for HIV infection, among others. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors of Abbott Laboratories and TAP from 2001 to 2006.

Dr. Leiden began his career in academia as a practicing cardiologist and molecular biologist. From 1987 to 2000, Dr. Leiden held several academic and hospital appointments, including roles as Chief of Cardiology at the University of Chicago, the Elkan R. Blout Professor of Biological Sciences at the Harvard School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. During his academic career, Dr. Leiden was also involved in starting several biotechnology companies including Vical and Cardiogene.

Dr. Leiden held a number of board positions in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, including non-executive Vice Chairman for Shire Pharmaceuticals plc and Director of Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. He is currently a trustee of the Brigham and Women’s hospital and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Leiden also serves on the board of directors for the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership (MACP) and the Boston Private Industry Council. Dr. Leiden received his B.A., M.D., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Chicago.

This website is supported by the STEM Pipeline Fund, a state trust account administered by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education to support STEM initiatives.