The Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus is a nonpartisan organization committed to increasing the number of women elected to public office and appointed to public policy positions. We seek to civically engage women of all ages in the political process through events, programming, and workshops. Caucus members include a diverse group of women that include the political, healthcare, biotech, academic, business, corporate, and non-profit communities. The MWPC offers programs that strive to increase the interest of women in the political process and helps them to be successful in the political arena.
EXECUTIVE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
2023 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Toyia Taylor Fontes
Annissa Essaibi George
Charlotte Golar Richie
Dr. Kathryn Nielsen
Dr. Yvonne Spicer
Jacquetta Van Zandt
SARA WASHINGTON JUTEAU
Kat Cline is the Director of MWPC. Cline brings to the organization a wealth of campaign experience at both the federal and state level in Massachusetts. Most recently, she served as the Congressional campaign manager to Ihssane Leckey in the competitive 2020 CD-4 race. During Shannon Liss-Riordan’s Senate campaign, she was Political and Operations Director. In Cline’s first race, she managed State Senator Becca Rausch’s winning campaign against a four-term incumbent. A graduate of Simmons University (formerly Simmons College), Cline has also been a Barbara Lee Family Foundation Fellow.
Gail is the founder and principal of Jackson Communications, a marketing communications firm specializing in fundraising, public relations, DEI marketing, political affairs, event production and management, community engagement strategy.
Most recently she served as the Sr. Director of Marketing and External Affairs at Carney Hospital, part of the Steward Health Care System. Reporting to the hospital president as a member of the hospital’s executive leadership team, Gail managed crisis communications, and developed a new marketing plan to rebrand the hospital, wrote speeches, created strategic partnerships that brought in new patients, and successfully enhanced the strategy for delivering equitable health care. Prior to joining Carney, Gail was the first Chief Development and Communications Officer at the Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center, where she led fundraising efforts to raise over $4 Million to support the health center and COVID-19 programs. She drove media campaigns & strengthened relationships with elected officials, government and the broader community. Additionally, with leadership and community partners, established a COVID-19 Mass Vax Center which today has vaccinated tens of thousands of residents from across the Commonwealth. She joined Harvard Street, first as a consultant, and after three months was offered the CDO opportunity. Gail continues as the principal of Jackson Communications and is committed to working with mission-driven companies that are dedicated to advancing diverse and underserved populations and businesses.
Clients have included the American Red Cross, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. & MassBio, La Alianza Hispana, and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) – She has spearheaded DE&I focused marketing initiatives for Avon, Pfizer, and Partners HealthCare in Massachusetts. Gail has held communications leadership positions with Wang Laboratories, Action for Boston Community Development, Roxbury Community College, The Ad Club Foundation, and as the Massachusetts Executive Director for Political & Community Affairs of the 2004 Democratic National Convention Committee.
Deloris Pettis is a C suite executive with broad experience in audit, general management and risk management across the public and private sectors and in higher education. She is currently serves as CFO for Quality Interactions, a leading provider of health care cultural competency training. Deloris previously served as the VP for Enterprise Risk Management at Northeastern University where she was responsible for the implementation of an institution-wide enterprise risk management program. Her work led to the effective incorporation of risk analysis with university strategy and stronger governance practices.
Earlier Deloris served for thirteen years in roles of increasing responsibility at Harvard University. As Director of Risk Management and Audit Services where she chaired Harvard’s international projects committee. As Associate Vice President for Sponsored Programs Administration, Deloris was accountable for a portfolio of over $600MM of federally sponsored awards; and as Director of the $70 million PEPFAR (AIDS) program transition initiative at the School of Public Health.
Deloris, held audit leadership positions at Digital Equipment Corporation, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and Barone & Associates; and held financial and compliance roles at the Bank of Boston. Deloris began her career in public accounting at KPMG.
Deloris earned her MBA in accounting from Tulane University and has a BSc in Political Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She is a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), a Certified Public Accountant (inactive) and has a Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA).
Deloris is a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors and Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics. In addition, Deloris serves on the Board of Directors of OneUnited Bank and as Audit Committee Chair; Board of Directors of Boston Urban League and as a member of the Finance Committee, President of Newton Chapter Jack and Jill and a former Town Meeting Member in Framingham.
McDonald House Charities of New England. She previously served as the Deputy Director for the Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges.
Gretchen earned her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Russell Sage College and her Master’s in Education Policy and Management from the University of Albany, SUNY.
Chelsea Aquino joined the Museum of Science as their Senior Government Relations Officer in January of 2022. In this role, she develops and manages the museum’s policy efforts, maintains relationships with state and local agencies, and secures government grants to support a wide array of initiatives to create compelling proposals for program, exhibit, curricula, and capital funding needs.
Prior to her work at the Museum of Science, Chelsea served as a lobbyist for the Mass Mentoring Partnership, Associate Director for the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus, and was the former Finance Director for Boston City Councilor At-Large Ayanna Pressley’s ticket-topping 2011 and 2013 re-elections.
Chelsea graduated from UMass Amherst with a BA in Political Science in 2010 and completed a Master’s in Public Administration from UMass Boston in 2020. She lives in Winthrop with her husband Eric, their son Aidan, and their rescue dog Stella.
ANNISSA ESSAIBI GEORGE
Annissa Essaibi George, a mom, former high school teacher, business owner, first-generation American, and lifelong Boston resident, was elected as a Boston City Councilor At-Large in 2015. On the Council, Annissa is distinguished by her efforts to empower the voices of stakeholders directly impacted public policy and her solutions-oriented approach to government. In 2021 Annissa was a finalist in the Boston Mayoral election.
As the first BPS teacher elected to the City Council and the first to serve as Chair of the Education Committee, Annissa’s unique experience as a BPS graduate, a former teacher and mother of four attending Boston Public Schools has fostered an inclusive environment for teachers, parents, and students. She has led the Council’s efforts to address their concerns through hearings on securing a full-time nurse and a full-time social worker in every school, improving school safety measures, increasing investments for vocational education, and increasing funding for our schools in the City’s budget.
When taking office in 2016, Annissa served as the founding member and Chair of Committee on Homelessness, Mental Health, and Recovery. Building from her education work, Annissa successfully increased funding in the City’s budget to support the almost 5,000 students in BPS experiencing homelessness and helped launch a Family Led Stability Pilot to house those students close to their schools, winning her the 2018 Navigator Award for her innovative approach to government. To best inform policy, Annissa hosted a monthly roundtable series that alternates between family shelter providers and mental health providers to connect the with policymakers in all levels government. Her most recent efforts to expand access to treatment included developing an Ordinance Establishing A Mental Health Commission. In 2019, Annissa passed a City Ordinance forming a Special Commission to End Family Homelessness in Boston and an Ordinance Requiring Pharmacy Take Back for Sharps.
Annissa is married to Dorchester native Doug George. They are the proud parents of four boys: Douglas, age 18, and triplets, Charlie, Kayden and Samir, age 16.
Annissa recently was named the new CEO and President of the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston. Big Sister’s mission is to ignite girls’ passion and power to succeed through positive mentoring relationships with women and enrichment programs that support girls’ healthy development. Ultimately, the vision is to create a mentor-rich community in which every girl has access to the individual nurturing, guidance, and support she needs to become a confident, competent and caring adult. Big Sister is a national model for gender-sensitive mentoring for girls which can be replicated in other mentoring programs. Annissa and Big Sister believe that all children can benefit from the care and guidance of an adult mentor and, that when girls’ unique needs are addressed, they thrive with increased confidence, improved relationships and the ability to achieve their individual goals. Big Sister is a part of a network of more than 300 Big Brothers Big Sisters of America agencies. We are the only affiliate solely serving girls.
CHARLOTTE GOLAR RICHIE
Charlotte made history in Boston, in 2013, as the city’s first African-American woman to run for mayor, garnering enough votes in a 12-person field to land a third-place primary election finish. She has continued to direct her community activism toward nonprofit and philanthropic board service, as a member of the Board of Directors for the national nonprofit YouthBuild USA, and for Tuft’s Health Plan Foundation, where she helps to promote age-friendly communities.
She also serves as Vice Chair for the Board of Directors for Boston’s Higher Ground, a community-based nonprofit, which connects residents in under-resourced neighborhoods to needed services and programs; as Advisory Board Member for Mothers for Justice and Equality (MJE), a grassroots organization that seeks to raise awareness about and bring an end to neighborhood violence; and as Vice Chair for the Advisory Board for the Center for Women in Politics & Public Policy (CWPPP) at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, where she works to advance opportunities for women’s leadership and involvement in government, politics and policy-making.
A graduate of Rutgers University (B.A.), Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism (M.S.) and Suffolk University’s Sawyer School of Management (M.B.A.), Charlotte and her husband Winston Richie are longtime residents of Dorchester and former US Peace Corps Volunteers; and they are the proud parents of adult daughters Leigh and Kara, who are working to effect positive change in their own communities.
Prior to coming to ABH, Abby was legislative director in State Senator John F. Keenan’s office and a clinical researcher in addiction medicine. Abby is a former Rappaport Public Policy Fellow and New Leaders Council Fellow and has a Master’s in Public Health in Health Policy and Law. She was recognized for her grassroots advocacy work with a 2020 Mitch Snyder Award and in 2018 earned the Excellence in Practice Award from Boston University’s Activist Lab. She is a public health professional passionate about utilizing policy to reduce the harms of drug use and improve health equity.
DR. KATHRYN NIELSEN
Dr. Kathryn Nielsen is the Senior Executive Officer at North Shore Community College. She is a leader in higher education with over 20 years as a researcher, college administrator, teacher, and speaker. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Studies, Adult and Transformative Learning from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts and has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in education and social policy.
Inspired by women who lead with authenticity, values and vision, Dr. Nielsen is committed to transformative leadership, democratic philanthropy, and community engagement. A resident of Salisbury, MA, she is active in her community and serves on several non-profit boards including the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center in Newburyport, MA, and the Massachusetts ACE Women’s Network whose mission is to support the advancement of women in all segments of higher education and the New England region and to promote the diversity of women and their contributions in Massachusetts higher education. The network is committed to developing leaders that promote justice, equity, and inclusion at their institutions. Dr. Nielsen is the founder of 100 Women Who Care Boston North, a giving circle committed to strengthening the local community through philanthropic giving.
A feminist, aspiring minimalist, and mother of four, Kathryn enjoys tennis, yoga, golf, art, travel and work that inspires personal, professional, and philanthropic growth.
Dr. Yvonne Spicer
Jacquetta Van Zandt
In addition to her service with MWPC, she serves on the Steering Committee of The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation’s New Frontier Network, a diverse, cross generational group of emerging leaders and philanthropists and on the Board of the South Shore Conference for Women.
SARA WASHINGTON JUTEAU
Sarah graduated from Oberlin College in 2012 and Boston University School of Law in 2017. While at Oberlin, Sarah majored in Political Science and participated in the Cole Scholars Program, part of the Oberlin Initiative in Electoral Politics. At Oberlin, Sarah was heavily involved in grassroots efforts both on and off campus. During this time, she worked on political campaigns in Boston, Washington D.C., and Ohio. Sarah also participated in Oberlin’s Congressional Internship Program, which provided her with the opportunity to intern for a Senator on Capitol Hill during the Winter Term. Sarah subsequently served as the student coordinator for the program. As student coordinator, Sarah helped students prepare intern applications for Congressional office internships and traveled to D.C. to meet with Congressional staffers and present student applications.
Sarah serves on the Associate Board for the Anti-Defamation League and as a volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts.
Kate holds a B.A. in English and Political Theory from Tufts University, and a Master’s in Public Policy from The George Washington University. Kate currently resides in Sharon, MA with her husband and 3 children.
Molly McGlynn serves as Press Secretary for Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell and previously served as Communications and Political Director for Campbell’s AG campaign. She has held several positions in the campaign, government and political communication landscape, including Deputy Communications Director for the Annissa for Boston campaign, Assistant Communications Director for the Boston Planning & Development Agency under then-Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Account Executive at Solomon McCown & Cence and Consultant at Benchmark Strategies. Molly graduated from Boston University’s College of Communication and lives in Brighton, in an apartment that is a living testament of her love of and loyalty to the Boston Red Sox.