|President of Babson College|
July 1, 2013 – July 1, 2019
|Preceded by||Leonard Schlesinger|
|Succeeded by||Stephen Spinelli Jr.|
|70th Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts|
January 2, 2003 – January 4, 2007
|Preceded by||Jane Swift|
|Succeeded by||Tim Murray|
|Chair of the Massachusetts Republican Party|
|Preceded by||Brian Cresta|
|Succeeded by||Jean Inman (Acting)|
April 30, 1960
Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
|Education||Harvard University (BA)|
Trinity College, Dublin (MA, PhD)
Kerry Murphy Healey (born April 30, 1960) is the inaugural president of the Milken Institute’s Center for Advancing the American Dream in Washington, DC. The mission of the Center is to expand access to the American Dream and tell the story of America through the eyes of those who came seeking opportunity, freedom and a better life for themselves and their families. The Center will include a visitor center on Pennsylvania Avenue, on-line educational resources, a conference center and American Dream research fellows. The visitor center is scheduled to open to the public in the Summer of 2023 in the restored historic Riggs Bank buildings across from the US Treasury and the White House. Dr. Healey was previously the president of Babson College for six years. She was the 70th Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007 under Governor Mitt Romney. She served as a special advisor on the Romney for President Campaign.
Healey also served as the Republican National Committeewoman for the state of Massachusetts, and serves on the boards of numerous charities and political organizations. She was the Republican nominee in the 2006 Massachusetts gubernatorial election and is now a registered independent.
Early life and education
Murphy was born on April 30, 1960 in Omaha, Nebraska. She grew up in Daytona Beach, Florida, the only child of Shirley and Edward Murphy (1919–2005). Her father served during World War II, and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Reserve after 27 years. He also worked as a residential real estate developer. Her mother worked as a public elementary school teacher.
When Healey was 15, her father suffered a severe heart attack that rendered him unable to work for the rest of his life. This put a financial strain on the family and led Healey to work a number of part-time jobs to help support her family. Throughout high school, she worked at a souvenir shop in Daytona Beach.
When she was 16, Healey enrolled in Daytona Beach Community College and began to take classes in computer science. She was then hired to help the Daytona Beach News-Journal become one of the first newspapers to transition from typewriters to computerized word processing. In addition to working to help support her family and save money for college, Healey also served as class president and student council president at Seabreeze High School.
After high school, Healey attended Harvard University with the help of a substantial scholarship. There, she served as the membership secretary of the Harvard Republicans Club and produced six plays. Healey graduated from Harvard in 1982 with an A.B. in government.
After graduating from Harvard, Healey was awarded a Rotary International Scholarship and received a Ph.D. in political science and law from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland in 1991. While in Dublin, she met fellow Rotary Scholar and Harvard alum Sean Healey, whom she married in 1985.
Upon completing her studies at Trinity College, Healey spent 1985 as a visiting researcher in the International and Comparative Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School.
In 1986, Healey joined Abt Associates, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she performed policy research for the U.S. Department of Justice related to child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, gang violence, victim and witness intimidation and the prosecution of drug crimes. Healey worked to support her husband's education at Harvard Law School until 1987, and then remained a consultant at Abt Associates until 1997.
Her first foray into politics occurred in 1998, when she ran for state representative in the 6th Essex District – representing her hometown of Beverly, Massachusetts – challenging incumbent Democrat Michael P. Cahill. After losing the heavily democratic district in 1998, Healey challenged Cahill again in 2000, but was met with the same result. After Healey's loss in 1998, she was elected to the Republican State Committee. Next, Healey taught social policy as an adjunct professor at Endicott College in 2001.
Despite losing her first two elections, Healey became popular among Republicans and was elected to the post of chairwoman of the Massachusetts Republican State Committee in 2001; this made Healey only the second woman to head the Massachusetts GOP. Soon after beginning her term as Chairwoman, the Massachusetts GOP began courting Mitt Romney – then the President and CEO of the 2002 Winter Olympics – to take over acting-Governor Jane Swift's position as the Republican candidate in the upcoming gubernatorial election. Healey discreetly flew to Salt Lake to meet with Romney and, soon after the Olympics, Romney expressed his intention to challenge Swift in a Republican primary.
After Swift exited the race, Romney endorsed Healey in her primary race for lieutenant governor against former U.S. Senate candidate and former party chairman Jim Rappaport, ultimately winning by a thirty-point margin. The Romney-Healey team was ultimately successful, and Healey was elected lieutenant governor on November 5, 2002.
Kerry Murphy Healey was sworn into office as the lieutenant governor of Massachusetts on January 2, 2003. She, along with Governor Mitt Romney, opted not to take a salary during her four-year term.
From the outset of her time as lieutenant governor, Healey focused intensely on public safety and criminal-justice programs, in addition to serving as the liaison between the Governor's office and the Republican Party and was the governor's municipal liaison. Immediately upon taking office, Romney and Healey focused on erasing an estimated $600 million budget gap for fiscal year 2003 that had been left by the previous administration. The state also faced an estimated $2 billion to $3 billion shortfall for fiscal year 2004.
In mid-January 2003, the Massachusetts State Legislature approved expanded budget-cutting powers for the Romney administration. As Romney's second-in-command, Healey was the liaison between the local government and the state house, working to reduce the burden of cuts to state aid to municipal governments.
Healey was credited with creating a package of legislative proposals, called the Municipal Relief Act, that reduced expensive and burdensome state mandates, easing the pain of cuts to state aid by about $75 million. The administration closed the budget gap, and ended fiscal year 2004 with a budget surplus of $700 million. Official state figures showed that Massachusetts ended fiscal year 2005 with a $594.4 million surplus. In 2006, the surplus was officially $720.9 million according to state statistics. Additionally, the administration left the state with a "rainy day" stabilization fund with a balance of $2.1 billion.
These surpluses were attained without breaking the Romney-Healey campaign promise that they would not raise taxes. On the heels of the Municipal Relief Act, Healey headed a bipartisan commission that "revised management practices for public construction projects designed to save money, increase accountability, improve safety, and give more control to local officials." In addition, Healey served as chair of the state's six Regional Competitiveness Councils (RCC), which coordinated and provided recommendations for economic development initiatives across the state.
As lieutenant governor, Healey was known for her hands-on approach in addressing the concerns of cities and towns and her responsiveness to the concerns of local officials. Even with the cuts to state budget that were made to avoid a budget crisis, local aid increased by 17 percent and school assistance increased by 7 percent under Healey's watch.
Healey's work on criminal and domestic policy allowed her to stand out as a rising GOP star. She headed the Governor's Commission on Criminal Justice Innovation, a bipartisan, multi-agency group focused on reforming the Massachusetts criminal justice system. She testified in favor of a bill that expanded the definition of crimes considered "sexually dangerous and allowed dangerous sex offenders to be locked up for life, which was called Ally's Law in honor of Ally Zapp.
She recommended and worked to champion programs to supervise and support inmates transitioning back to society, including proposals for mandatory post release supervision. As lieutenant governor, Healey sought or signed laws that curbed gang violence, enhanced witness safety, expanded the rights of those wrongfully convicted, advanced technology to track sex offenders, curbed substance abuse, strengthened law enforcement's ability to combat opioid abuse, and expanded protection from sex offenders.
In an interview in 2007, Healey cited her greatest accomplishment as lieutenant governor as the work that she did to ensure the passage of Melanie's Law, a 2005 law that strengthened penalties for drunk driving in order to keep repeat offenders off the road. The law was met with a 44% drop in repeat drunk-driving offenses in its first year. The number of fatalities as a result of drunk driving dropped 27% between 2005 and 2009.
In 2005, Healey supported a proposed ban on same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, in favor of civil unions. Healey has since made her support for same-sex marriage known. As Babson College president, she marched in the 2013 Boston Pride Parade with the school's LGBTQ student organization.
Healey also supported death penalty, and was endorsed by Massachusetts' top gun owners group because of her strong support for gun rights.
Healey supported immigration status check during regular police traffic stops and deportation of illegal immigrants. She opposed in-state tuition for illegal immigrant students.
After Governor Romney stated that he would not seek reelection, Healey was dubbed the presumptive Republican nominee for the state's highest elected office. However, Healey faced early competition from within her own party from Republican Christy Mihos, the former owner of a chain of convenience stores. The state Republican Party tried to steer Mihos into a race against Senator Ted Kennedy, and also guaranteed him a spot on the ballot in the Republican primary for the governorship, yet Mihos opted to launch his campaign as an independent, making the general election a three-person race; Deval Patrick was the Democratic nominee. Early polls showed Patrick with as much as a 25-point lead over Healey following a competitive democratic primary, despite most voters backing Healey's support of rolling back the state income tax to five percent, denying in-state tuition rates at state colleges to undocumented immigrants, denying driver's licenses to such residents and requiring photo identification for voting.
After a series of strong debate performances, Healey was able to cut Patrick's lead in half, to 13 points, as voters became more familiar with her stances on key issues. However, Healey was unable to overcome Patrick's early lead and the split of conservative support caused by Mihos' candidacy. In her concession speech, Healey stated: "I've been blessed to serve with our great governor, Governor Romney, and I will look forward to continuing to find ways that I can serve the Commonwealth and others throughout my life."
Following the primaries, a TV ad by Healey criticized her gubernatorial rival Deval Patrick for serving as the lawyer for the killer of a Florida highway patrol officer gunned down on a rural road. In 1985, Patrick, then a lawyer for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, worked to reverse the death sentence imposed on killer Carl Ray Songer. "Her approach is to protect the victims and Deval Patrick's approach is always to protect convicted criminals," said Healey's campaign manager Tim O'Brien. Now, under Florida law, Songer is eligible for parole.
The "Cop Killer" campaign ad was featured on a segment of the Opie and Anthony radio show about negative campaign ads. The ad was criticized on the air for its lack of information about the case. She criticized Patrick for having written to the Massachusetts Parole Board on behalf of Benjamin LaGuer, who proclaims innocence for a 1983 sexual assault, and for corresponding with the inmate. During the heat of the campaign two unidentified men visited LaGuer in prison and allegedly offered him $100,000 if would turn that correspondence over to them.
Critics of Healey's ad argued that it confused the proper role of criminal defense lawyers in the judicial system. Patrick argued that Songer hadn't been sentenced fairly because he wasn't able to present evidence of his good character during the sentencing hearing. "The federal appeals court agreed with him that [Songer's] death sentence violated the Constitution of the United States," said Patrick spokesman Richard Chacon in a statement. Patrick's campaign also pointed out that Healey's running mate, Reed Hillman, lobbied a parole board on behalf of friend James W. Mitchell, who was accused of assaulting a police officer.
Patrick also criticized Healey's campaign for leaking details of the 1993 rape of Patrick's sister by her husband. The Healey's campaign denied any involvement in the leak, and in turn accused Patrick of initiating a "smear campaign" over the issue.
After Lieutenant Governor
In the spring of 2007, Healey was a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government's Institute of Politics and was a Visiting Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School's Center for Public Leadership for the following fall.
In 2008, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appointed Healey to the Executive Committee of the Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan (PPP). The partnership aims to promote a democratic rule of law in Afghanistan by providing scholarships, training, and other educational resources to Afghan legal professionals. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reappointed Healey in 2009. Healey chaired the PPP's Afghan Women Lawyers' Training Conference held in California and Washington, DC, and in 2010, she led the Afghan Defense Lawyer Training Program in Boston and Washington, DC. Healey currently serves as president of the Board of the Friends of the PPP, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that assists the PPP in achieving its goals in carrying out its work with Afghan judges and lawyers, as well as fundraising.
In 2009, Healey partnered with Ambassador Swanee Hunt to co-chair the Political Parity project. This nonpartisan initiative works to increase the number of women in high-level state and national political offices, through programs including the Media Accountability Project and the Women's Appointment Project. Political Parity has stated that its goal is to "double the number of women at the highest levels of U.S. government by 2022." To achieve this goal, Political Parity performs research for candidates, facilitates networking opportunities, assists in fundraising, and encourages female candidates to pursue office and coordinate and strategize with one another. The project is completely nonpartisan; Political Parity does not endorse, fund, or train potential candidates.
On August 28, 2009, The Boston Globe reported that Healey was considering running in the special election for the US Senate seat formerly held by Edward M. Kennedy. On September 6, 2009, Healey announced that she would not run for the vacant post.
In 2010, Healey was the creator and host of Shining City, which was featured on the New England Sports Network. The show featured and celebrated science, technology, and innovation in the New England area.
Healey was also a Special Advisor and the Foreign Policy Coordinator for Romney for President. In 2008, she was a Senior Advisor for Romney for President, coordinating teams of expert advisors on domestic and foreign policy issues. Healey also serves on the Advisory Boards of the Harvard Kennedy School's Tubman Institute on State and Local Government and the MIT Collaborative's Healthcare Visionary Council. She currently serves or has served on numerous non-profit boards including the Pioneer Institute, the National Center on Family Homelessness, Milton Academy, the American University of Afghanistan, National State Leadership Council, Caritas Cubana, and the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. In April 2012, she was elected to the post of National Committeewoman by the Massachusetts Republican Party.
Healey had been cited for a cabinet role in a Mitt Romney Presidential administration, had Romney been elected.
Babson College Presidency
This section contains content that is written like an advertisement. (May 2016)
On March 24, 2013, Babson College announced that Healey has been named President of the college. She became the thirteenth President of Babson and the first woman to hold the position on July 1, 2013. Babson College is a private business school in Wellesley, Massachusetts, established in 1919. Its central focus is on entrepreneurship education, and it is often ranked the most prestigious entrepreneurship college in the United States. In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Babson the number one undergraduate college for entrepreneurship for the 21st consecutive time and the number one MBA program for entrepreneurship for the 24th consecutive year. Babson has also been recognized for its return on investment and alumni earnings.
As president of Babson, Healey has worked to expand the college's global reach. In 2017, 28% of incoming students were international, representing 43 countries. Babson has twice been recognized by Forbes as the number one U.S. college for international students. Healey established a Global Scholars program to provide need-based scholarships for international students and launched a Global Entrepreneur in Residence program. The college has also established new satellite locations in Boston, Massachusetts and Miami, Florida.
At Babson, Healey has also focused on improving the school's financial standing. From June 30, 2013 to June 30, 2017, Babson's endowment grew from $275 million to $391.5 million. Both Moody's and S&P upgraded the school's bond ratings in July 2015. In Healey's first two years, Babson created three endowed chairs for professors; the college had not created a new endowed chair since 2008.
In her second year of being president, TIME's Money Magazine rated Babson as the No. 1 college based on metrics of education quality, affordability, and alumni earnings. In 2015, Money Magazine ranked Babson second, behind Stanford. Applications at the college increased to a record 7,515 for the Class of 2019, an increase of 21%, and the class had the highest standardized test scores and lowest acceptance rate in Babson history. Diversity has also improved under Healey, and women comprise 54% of the Class of 2019, outnumbering men for the first time; this is up from 47% in 2014.
Healey has also spent time growing the college's arts program and "enhance the natural synergies between entrepreneurship and the arts" with initiatives such as the partnership with the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC) which made CSC the resident theatre company of Babson College.
- 1998 campaign for 6th Essex State Representative District
- Rep. Michael Cahill (D), 66%
- Kerry Healey (R), 34%
- 2000 campaign for 6th Essex State Representative District
- Rep. Michael Cahill (D), 60%
- Kerry Healey (R), 36%
- 2002 Republican Primary for Lt. Governor
- Kerry Healey (R), 64%
- Jim Rappaport (R), 36%
- 2002 campaign for Governor/Lt. Governor
- 2006 campaign for Governor/Lt. Governor
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|Party political offices|
| Chair of the Massachusetts Republican Party
| Republican nominee for Governor of Massachusetts
| Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts