Quentin Palfrey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Quentin Palfrey
Quentin Palfrey.jpg
Personal details
Born (1974-04-29) April 29, 1974 (age 44)
Political partyDemocratic
RelativesJudith Palfrey (Mother)
John Palfrey (Brother)
EducationHarvard University (BA, JD)
WebsiteCampaign website

Quentin Palfrey (born April 29, 1974) is an American lawyer, policymaker, and political candidate. He previously served as the Executive Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) North America and is the Co-Director of the Global Access in Action project at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society.[1][2]

During President Obama’s first term, Palfrey worked as Senior Advisor for Jobs & Competitiveness in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. In that role, he served as lead policy staffer on reform efforts[3] and also coordinated White House input into a report to Congress on the national strategy for innovation and competitiveness.[4] He has written and spoken widely on innovation,[5] poverty,[6] and evidence-based policy.[7]

Palfrey was the Democratic candidate in the 2018 Massachusetts election for Lieutenant Governor, running with gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez against the incumbents, Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito of the Republican Party. The Baker/Polito ticket won the November general election by a margin of 1,781,341 votes to 885,770 cast for the Democrats.[8]

Early life and education[edit]

Palfrey grew up in Southborough, Massachusetts.[9] His parents, Judith Palfrey (née Sullivan) and Sean Palfrey, are pediatricians who work in Boston. He has one brother, John Palfrey, who works as an educator, and one sister, Katy, who works in nonprofit conservation. Palfrey is the great-great-grandson of United States President Theodore Roosevelt.[10]

Palfrey attended Phillips Exeter Academy, and graduated from Harvard College in 1996 and Harvard Law School in 2002.[11]


After graduating from law school, Palfrey served as a law clerk for Judge Max Rosenn on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. After a brief stint as a litigation associate at the New York office of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, Palfrey returned to Boston to serve as an Assistant Attorney General and later as the first Chief of the Health Care Division in the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General. During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Palfrey served as the voter protection director for President Obama’s campaign in Ohio.[12]

Palfrey also served as Deputy General Counsel for Strategic Initiatives at the US Department of Commerce. As the first Chief of the Health Care Division in the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General,[13] Palfrey oversaw multi-million dollar consumer protection litigation and investigations relating to health insurance, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, healthcare providers and nursing homes. Prior to his Chief position, he was an Assistant Attorney General in the Insurance Division.

Political candidacy[edit]

In September 2017, Palfrey announced his campaign for Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts,[14] stating that "we need leaders who will fight for good jobs and fair pay, work to reduce inequality and poverty, and stand up against attacks on our diverse and inclusive American values."[15] On June 2, 2018, Palfrey was endorsed at the Massachusetts State Democratic Convention. In the Democratic primary election held on September 4, 2018, Palfrey defeated Jimmy Tingle.[16] Palfrey was defeated by Republican incumbent Karyn Polito in the general election held on November 6, 2018.

Personal life[edit]

Palfrey married Anna Tabor in 2008. They have one daughter, Serena, and two sons, Drew and Max.


  • Expanding Access to Medications & Promoting Innovation: A Practical Approach, 24 Geo. J. on Poverty L. & Pol'y 161 (2017)[17]
  • State Judiciary’s Role in Fulfilling Brown’s Promise, 8 Mich. J. Race & Law 1 (2002)[18]
  • Federal Housing Subsidies, 37 Harv. J. Legis. 567 (2000)[19]


  1. ^ "Global Access in Action Team".
  2. ^ Daniel Dennis Jones. "Berkman initiative spotlights lessons from the Ebola outbreak".
  3. ^ Quentin Palfrey. "The America Invents Act: Turning Ideas into Jobs".
  4. ^ Quentin Palfrey; Brandon Belford. "New Report: Investing in Innovation is Crucial to Economic Growth and Competitiveness".
  5. ^ Quentin Palfrey. "Internet Privacy: Protecting Consumers, Building Trust, Creating Jobs".
  6. ^ "Quentin Palfrey on "Policies that Benefit the Poor" @ Data for Policy 2016". Data for Policy.
  7. ^ Quentin Palfrey. "5 Strategies for Evidence-Based Policymaking".
  8. ^ Schoenberg, Shira (21 November 2018). "Final 2018 Massachusetts midterm voter turnout: 60.17 percent". MassLive. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  9. ^ "Meet Quentin". Quentin Palfrey - Democrat for Lieutenant Governor.
  10. ^ "Political Happy Hour: Sept. 7, 2017". Boston Globe.
  11. ^ "Poverty Action Lab Palfrey Bio".
  12. ^ "Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale '91 and Quentin Palfrey '02 appointed to Administration posts". Harvard Law.
  13. ^ "Quentin Palfrey Joins WilmerHale's IP Litigation Practice". IP Watchdog.
  14. ^ "Ex-Obama aide running for lt. gov". The Lowell Sun. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  15. ^ "A Vision for Massachusetts". Quentin Palfrey - Democrat for Lieutenant Governor.
  16. ^ "Massachusetts Primary Election Results". The New York Times. September 4, 2018. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
  17. ^ Quentin Palfrey. "Expanding Access to Medicines and Promoting Innovation: A Practical Approach". Heinonline, law journal library.
  18. ^ Quentin Palfrey. "Article: The State Judiciary's Role in Fulfilling Brown's Promise".
  19. ^ Quentin Palfrey. "RECENT LEGISLATION: Federal Housing Subsidies".