Distinguished visitor

26/05/2008

On Monday May 19th I had the privilege of hosting the Chief of Staff of the Mayor of Boston, Ms. Judith Kurland in Malahide & Swords. Judith and I met in Boston in October 2007 when I was selected to take part in the Young Political Leaders Programme through Boston College, USA. The informative ten day visit was previously run as a mechanism for Peace & Reconciliation in Northern Ireland and has since diversified into an information exchange on better governance.

Judith and I toured Malahide Castle, followed by a very informative meeting with County Manager, David O’Connor and some of his senior staff. We capped off the day with a discussion with Deputy James Reilly who was particularly interested in meeting with Judith given her medical background.

Judith was the only woman to be a Commissioner of the Department of Health and Hospitals for the City of Boston and presided over the financing and rebuilding of Boston City Hospital and the creation of the nationally recognised Healthy Boston. While serving as the Regional Director of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, she created a partnership among health, environmental and housing leadership within the six New England states to combat pediatric asthma. The effort is now known as the Asthma Regional Council and is used as a national model.

Judith’s CV includes periods as the Vice President for Strategic Planning and Corporate Affairs at New England Medical Centre; Director of Federal-State Relations for Massachusetts, previous service as Chief of Staff for the Office of the Massachusetts Lt. Governor and for Congressman Michael J. Harrington, and as Legislative Director to then Majority Whip Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr. She has taught at the Harvard and Boston University Schools of Public Health and served as editor of Public Health Reports.